wd~50 opened at 50 Clinton Street, between Rivington and Stanton, on Manhattan's Lower East Side on April 9th, 2003. The 65 seat restaurant occupies a former bodega and has a full bar. Dinner is served seven days a week,from 6pm to 10pm. The restaurant also offers private dining in its wine cellar for up to fourteen people.
The chef, Wylie Dufresne, was formerly the sous chef at Jean Georges and in 1999 became the chef at 71 Clinton Fresh Food.
The pastry chef, Malcolm Livingston II, previously worked at Le Cirque and Per Se. He was then hired as pastry sous chef at wd~50 in May of 2009, becoming pastry chef in January of 2011.
wd~50 now offers two tasting menus; a twelve course Tasting menu for $155, and From the Vault, a five course Tasting Menu for $90 comprised of the restaurants classic dishes from past menus.
A menu served in the bar area can be enjoyed for $25 dollars by selecting any two items from either the short or long tasting menu; additional courses can be added at $15 per course.
The menus at wd~50 utilize elements and techniques from a wide array of cuisines. The restaurant has garnered praise for its inspired culinary combinations, cutting edge culinary techniques, and innovative use of ingredients.
The restaurant was designed by Dewey Dufresne and Louis Mueller.
Frank Bruni of the New York Times awarded wd~50 three stars in March of 2008.
In 2006, in the Michelin Guide's inaugural American edition, wd~50 received one star, which it has retained through 2012.
In 2013 Wylie Dufresne was honored with the 2013 James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef New York City. He had been previously nominated for the same award six times.
Wylie Dufresne - Chef/Owner
Wylie Dufresne was born in 1970 in Providence, Rhode Island moving to New York in 1977. In 1992 he completed a B.A. in philosophy at Colby College, Maine.
After college, Wylie enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in New York and was then employed at Jo Jo's from 1994 to 1997. He was then hired to work on the opening of Restaurant Jean Georges, eventually becoming the sous chef. In 1998 Dufresne was hired as chef de cuisine at Vongerichten's Prime in The Bellagio, Las Vegas. In 1999 he left Prime to become the first chef at 71 Clinton Fresh Food, a 30-seat restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
Dufresne opened wd~50 (named for the chef's initials and the street address) in April of 2003, on Clinton Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side. His partners in the venture are Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and restaurateur Phil Suarez.
For further information: Griffin Parker (212-477-2900)
Malcolm Livingston II
- Pastry Chef
Malcolm Livingston II was born on August 13th, 1986 in the Bronx, New York. Malcolm attended the Culinary Art Institute of New York City, graduating in 2006 with an A.O.S. in Culinary/Restaurant management.
Upon graduating, Malcolm began his restaurant career at Le Cirque, where he was the youngest member of the kitchen. At Le Cirque, under the tutelage of Pastry Chef Regis Monges, he learned both classical and modern technique from 2006 to 2007.
In 2007, Malcolm began working at Per Se with Pastry Chefs Richard Capizzi and Sebastien Rouxel, both of whom he considers mentors. At an offsite event, Malcolm met Chef Alex Stupak and secured a week long stagiaire at wd~50. Three months later, in May of 2009, he returned to wd~50 to take up a position as the pastry sous chef.
After a year, Malcolm took over the position of pastry chef when Alex Stupak vacated his position to open his own restaurant. Malcolm relishes the collaborative environment that wd~50 affords him and his team.
- Chef de Cuisine
Born in Florida in 1981, Sous Chef Sam Henderson grew up in Marietta, Georgia before moving north to attend New York University.
While completing a degree in English Literature, Sam started long-distance running, which resulted in an increased appetite for food and for culinary knowledge. Thus began Sam's quest to hone her culinary skills, initially through reading and experimentation rather than culinary school, and then followed by a stagiaire in her first professional kitchen, wd~50. Chef Mike Sheerin was instrumental in helping Sam become a hired cook at wd~50 where she worked from 2006-2009.
In the summer of 2009, Sam worked as a stagiaire at the world-renowned Mugaritz in Spain, followed by positions in the kitchens of The Publican and Sepia in Chicago. Sam missed her wd~50 family and in the fall of 2011 she came back to fill the role of Sous Chef. In June of 2013, Sam was named the new Chef de Cuisine of wd~50.
John Joseph Basil (JJ) - Sous Chef
JJ Basil was born in 1981 in Arlington, Virginia and raised in the greater Washington DC area. In 2003 JJ graduated with a B.S. in finance from Villanova University.
JJ has been with wd~50 the majority of his culinary career, serving in various roles. Through his time at wd~50, he was fortunate enough to have been exposed to many of the other worlds top restaurants by working as a stagiaire at Noma, and Nihonryori RyuGin. He has also consulted for restaurants such as McCradys and Torrisi Italian Specialties.
JJ returned to wd~50 team in November 2012 as a Sous Chef.