wd-50's Chilled Egg Drop Soup, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes

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No. 15: Chilled egg drop soup from wd-50

More tongue-in-cheek tomfoolery from New York's original trailblazing progressive restaurant.

While Wylie Dufresne's other restaurant, Alder, continues to garner acclaim after a successful opening this past spring, wd-50, the creative chef's flagship, has settled into its new life sans a la carte service. On offer: a $90 5-course menu of dishes from over the course of the restaurant's 10-year history, or a $155 13-course tasting. Either option is a delight, but for our slim wallets and deep-seated control issues, we like to grab a seat at the bar and indulge in one of the best fine dining deals this city has to offer. For $25, bar patrons can choose any two dishes from either of the restaurant's menus (with each additional course priced at $15). It's a great way to sample Dufresne's food without going all out, and one dish that makes the deal particularly worthwhile is the chilled egg drop soup with sea urchin, mushrooms, and radish.

Like most everything at wd-50, achieving such a masterful result takes many, many steps. Samantha Henderson, who replaced longtime Dufresne chef de cuisine Jon Bignelli (who now heads up the kitchen at Alder), explained that the soup base gets its richness from being steeped with shiitake mushrooms, ginger, and radish. A mixture of egg whites and pureed sea urchin is added to the infused chicken broth in the same way that traditional egg drop soup is prepared, gently poured into the hot soup to create solid strands. The concoction is chilled for service, and dolled up with slivers of radish, leaves from baby bok choy and chinese broccoli, pan-roasted oyster mushrooms, and a couple of nice, plump tongues of uni. The depth of flavor achieved between the broth and its accoutrements is astounding; the egg strands bearing a slight sea-sweetness from the urchin. Between the texture of the fresh uni and the umami elements in the soup, the dish manages to be light, refreshing, and complex all at once. Such winking and nodding can occasionally come off as trying too hard, but the only thing overboard about this dish is how obscenely flavorful it is.

Later this year, we'll pen our Best of New York issue, our annual love letter to what's great in this town. When that paper hits the streets, you'll find our picks for the very best this city has to offer when it comes to dozens of cuisines, restaurants, dishes, and drinks. Until then, you can get a taste of our contenders as we count down, in no particular order, our 100 favorite dishes from around the boroughs, a list of laudable eats worth tracking down right now.

No. 100: Taqueria Lower East Side's carnitas
No. 99: Tartine's steamed mussels
No. 98: Malu's Cookie Monster ice cream
No. 97: Coppelia's Havana salad
No. 96: Falansai's clay pot catfish
No. 95: Uncle Boons' Khao Soi Kaa Kai
No. 94: ABC Cocina's salted caramel "impossible" flan
No. 93: Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine's peanut noodles
No. 92: Distilled's country-fried duck and waffles
No. 91: Calliope's octopus salad
No. 90: Charlie Bird's diver scallop crudo
No. 89: Silver Moon Bakery's fig and pepper bread
No. 88: Stage Restaurant's egg, cheese, and sausage on a roll
No. 87: Manzanilla's Marbella's Full Moon
No. 86: Bia's Cary Ga
No. 85: La Newyorkina's pineapple jalapeño paleta
No. 84: Empellón Taqueria's skirt steak tacos
No. 83: Sugar Sweet Sunshine's pistachio cupcake
No. 82: El Chivito d'Oro's skirt steak
No. 81: Saro Bistro's satarash
No. 80: Oda House's adjaruli khatchapuri
No. 79: Hill Country Chicken's pie milkshake
No. 78: Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue's chili mac
No. 77: The Musket Room's steak and cheese pie
No. 76: Battery Harris' Baked Patties
No. 75: Legend's Dan Dan Noodles
No. 74: Pure Thai's Nakorn-Patom duck noodles soup
No. 73: Melt Bakery's Morticia
No. 72: Calexico's Baja Fish Taco
No. 71: Sushi Dojo's Omakase
No. 70: Bear's smoked whitefish
No. 69: Locanda Verde's corn ravioli
No. 68: Ghenet's Ghenet Combination
No. 67: Ample Hills Creamery's ice cream
No. 66: Burger & Barrel's Burger
No. 65: Radegast's Munich pretzel
No. 64: Mighty Quinn's Burnt End Baked Beans
No. 63: Cho Dang Gol's spicy galbi jjim
No. 62: Tacos Mexico's chorizo taco
No. 61: Pork Slope's loaded nachos
No. 60: Pine Box Rock Shop's bloody mary
No. 59: Franny's antipasto plate
No. 58: Num Pang's curry red lentil soup
No. 57: Khe-Yo's Jurgielewicz duck salad
No. 56: Dough's doughnut (any doughnut)
No. 55: King Noodle's ma po tofu fries
No. 54: Terri's green power smoothie
No. 53: Estela's beef tartare
No. 52: Pho Grand's pork chop pho
No. 51: Stella 34 Trattoria's chocolate gelato
No. 50: RedFarm's spicy crispy beef
No. 49: Bhojan's daal tadka
No. 48: Pig and Khao's khao soi
No. 47: The Grand's handmade pierogies
No. 46: Dominick's Deli's Dante's Inferno
No. 45: The Queens Kickshaw's deep-fried squash blossoms
No. 44: Black Tree's squash blossom sandwich
No. 43: Nan Xiang's xiao long bao
No. 42: Jones Wood Foundry's bangers and mash
No. 41: White Bear's wontons
No. 40: The Harrison's toasted couscous and farro salad
No. 39: Katja's sausage sampler
No. 38: Magpies' strawberry-balsamic magpie
No. 37: Bunker's pho ga
No. 36: Fritzl's Lunch Box's burger
No. 35: Biang's lotus root salad
No. 34: BrisketTown's brisket
No. 33: Bronx Ale House's alehouse nachos
No. 32: Shinobi Ramen's mabo ramen
No. 31: Pok Pok NY's papaya pok pok
No. 30: Land of Plenty's Szechuan Pork Dumplings
No. 29: Financier's pistachio macaron
No. 28: Arancini Bros' Nutella arancini
No. 27: Di Fara's calzone
No. 26: Atera's bone marrow
No. 25: The Mermaid Inn's brunch bread basket
No. 24: Hospoda's fried cherries
No. 23: Xe May's Lam'bretta
No. 22: Meatballs Alsatian from Café Cluny
No. 21: Café Ghia's biscuits and gravy
No. 20: Espardeñas from Toro
No. 19: Beef noodle soup from Lan Zhou
No. 18: Soup and half roll combo from Luke's Lobster
No. 17: Spicy pork quesadilla from La Pasadita
No. 16: Pastrami sandwich from Loeser's Deli

Know a dish we shouldn't miss? E-mail us.




Location Info

wd-50

50 Clinton St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant


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