It’s the end of an era on the Lower East Side, where the slow march of gentrification is pushing out yet another business that helped make a once-seedy neighborhood the destination it is today. After an 11-year run, Wylie Dufresne‘s pioneering restaurant, wd~50, will make way for a new development, the New York Times reports.
WD-50 was a BIG DEAL not just for its avant-garde fare, but b/c it was (with 71 Clinton Fresh Food) one the first high-end restos on the LES
— ryan sutton (@qualityrye) June 10, 2014
Dufresne’s experimental, conceptual cooking turned wd~50 into a food world focal point. René Redzepi of Noma told the Times that, for a time, it was the most influential restaurant in the world.
In the future we’re going to realize wd-50 was the CBGB of this era, with way nicer bathrooms.
— Pete Wells (@pete_wells) June 10, 2014
Aside from instantly legendary dishes like deep fried mayonnaise cubes, the wd~50 kitchen has also sent out a new wave of New York culinary talent including Christina Tosi, Mario Carbone, Alex Stupak, and Paul Carmichael.
This extended family’s esteem and affection for Dufresne was made evident in April this year, when 30 internationally-acclaimed chefs threw him a surprise dinner party to celebrate the eatery’s 11th anniversary.
— Virgilio Martinez (@VirgilioCentral) April 9, 2014
The Times reports that Dufresne may eventually “move his vision to a different location,” but you still have time to experience a meal at the original and, let’s face it, irreplaceable restaurant—if there are still bookings available, that is.
[via The New York Times]