Tejal pointed out to me that, in my gushing about New York in general and wd-50 in specific, I forgot to mention a particular neat aspect of the timing of our dinner. We happened to dine just days after Alex Stupak, best known for, until recently, being the pastry chef Alinea in Chicago, started at wd-50. He was even in the kitchen on that quiet Sunday night, and from my seat I had a wonderfully discrete angle from which to watch him work.
Tejal said a few "trademark" items and techniques were familiar to her from Alinea, and we certainly had the opportunity to taste a wide range of his work. In addition to the pre-dessert and two desserts on the tasting menu, he sent out a third dessert to each of us, and a wonderfully bitter little chocolate birthday cake for me. That element of bitterness, or at least lack of intense sweetness, was present in all of his desserts. He also made wide use of other intense flavor notes like licorice, menthol, and chartreuse. Nothing was savory, but neither was anything so sweet that it dulled the tongue. Depending on what elements you got on the spoon, each bite would let one flavor pop while the others harmonized in the background.
It should probably not surprise you to learn that a few jean buttons were discretely undone in the taxi on the way back to Whitney's place. We'd only saved room for the two desserts we were expecting, but the sacrifice of a very full tummy was gladly undertaken.
It's also worth noting that Wylie was in the restaurant that evening, having a casual dinner. It's always nice to see chefs actually eating in their own restaurants, chefs who are involved in the experience, instead of just designing a menu and disappearing into the mist.