May 16, 2007

Well, what can I say. Kim and I went out to NYC. First we drove to the Hamilton House, Alexander Hamilton House, and checked in to our B&B. They have 8 rooms.

Then we took the metro-north to Grand Central, got lunch close by, mistake. We should have eaten in the terminal or went downtown. Then we went downtown and met my brother John, no not John the waiter, my younger brother Johnny, at Pegu Club for some drinks. I gave our waitress a couple of melt-aways, the mint dark chocolate and the Kona praline milk chocolate. She loved them.

I gave John and Carla a box of chocolates and some nougats and the milk chocolate melt-aways. We had our drinks, not bad not too expensive, especially for NYC, and then took a cab to wd-50.

Let me start out by saying it’s tough to do molecular gastronomy because you have to get the flavors just right. How do you compare someone’s traditional cooking, say March, in it’s prime, about 10 years ago, with something completely nontraditional? What’s your reference point? The answer is, the only reference point, taste, mouth feel, overall happiness during and at the end of the meal.

This was fantastic. In all senses of the work. It was very good. Even great. My favorite dish, with the pairing, was the Fois Gras rice crispies with the Valhrona chocolate and the riesling. My favorite without the pairing was the only dish with no pairing, that was peanuts and a gelee. I don’t have the menu infront of me and forgot what was in it exactly. Kim’s was the sweetbreads. No surprise there. She loves sweetbreads. They were great, too.

Least favorite was the soup with the make your own noodles using a squeeze bottle. Good but not great. The desserts were very good as well. The first dessert was great. The licorise made the chocolate sing. Kim liked the avacado with the chocolate. Thing about that, chocolate, avocado and licorise. It was inspired. Not so much the second dessert. I can’t even remember what it is at this point.

How does this compare with Tru? I thought that the savory portion of the meal was better than Tru. (Kim didn’t think this. She liked Tru better.) Though, I was very happy that Tru had a cheese course. The dessert and pastry portion was better at Tru. Ms. Gand can’t be beat unless it’s by the pastry chef at Jardinere in the 90’s. I think she is now at Rubicon?? But this guy is young. So, we’ll see. He worked at Tru. You can’t out-do your boss!

The service was great at both restaurants but Tru is more formal and how can you beat sweeping? However at WD-50, we had great conversations with the people around us. We brought our friends to Tru.

WD=50 is a great place to talk to Chef’s and culinary students. We met a savory and a pastry chef and a student at the L’Ecole Francaise. Upshot of the evening, I gave the student a Kono Praline milk chocolate melt-away and she said that it was the best thing she’d eaten that night. Ooops! Sorry Wylie.

I gave M. Dufresne and his pastry chef a box of chocolates and confections. I hope they liked them. I gave the waiter a bag of the milk chocolate melt-aways. Ditto.

In the end, the plates were cooler at Tru and what, no flat spoons, no fish spoons at WD-50? Sorry, Bill, I forgot the spoon review. Kim is pushing on. Me? I’d go back. It was also less expensive than Tru. But who’s counting?