If the New York restaurant world had a record label, chef Wylie Dufresne would be its token diva.
He had his talented debut (71 Clinton Fresh Food). He had his older diva mentor (Jean-Georges). His picture’s been in as many magazines as J-Lo’s.
And like all great performers, he refuses to perform until every detail is perfect.
So blame his finicky temperament for the yearlong delay in his sophomore effort, wd-50, a joint venture with Jean-Georges and Phil Suarez. Now with all the elements in place, he’s ready for showtime.
The high-caliber American menu includes skate with lemon gnocchi, asparagus, hazelnuts, and smoked scallions; pork belly with soybeans and turnips; and Spanish mackerel with lentils, fava beans, and brown butter yogurt.
Housed in a former bodega transformed by a copper fireplace and an agate-paneled bar, wd-50 hits the casual-but-cool note flawlessly. The space seats only 70, meaning rabid fans will have to wait.
And it might be best to check your diva attitude at the door.
wd-50, 50 Clinton Street, between Stanton and Rivington Streets (212-477-2900).