D50 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 five days a week, Wednesday through Saturday, 6.00pm to 11.00pm, and on Sunday from 6.00pm until 10.30pm. 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. wd~50 is the first restaurant where Wylie is both the chef and an owner along with his partners, former employers, Jean Georges Vongerichten and Phil Suarez.
The menu at wd~50 utilizes elements and techniques from a wide array of cuisines. Both Wylie and the pastry chef, Alex Stupak, have garnered praise for their inspired culinary combinations, cutting edge culinary techniques, and innovative use of ingredients. Appetizers range from $15 to $19, entrees from $25 to $37, and desserts $15. The nine-course tasting menu is $140 and a wine pairing is offered for $75.
Alex Stupak, the pastry chef at wd~50 since August of 2006, was most recently the pastry chef at Alinea in Chicago. Prior to that he worked at Tru in Chicago, the Federalist and Clio in Boston.
The restaurant was designed by Dewey Dufresne and Louis Mueller. Louis is responsible for the copper work, including the fireplace, the lighting, the shelving and the door fixtures in the restaurant. The bathroom features a mosaic with an aquatic theme by the artist Tim Snell. The artist Marlene McCarthy designed all of the restaurant's graphics.
In 2000 Wylie was a James Beard nominee for Rising Star Chef of the year. In 2004 wd~50 was nominated by the James Beard Foundation in the category of Best New Restaurant. In 2005, Restaurant Magazine (UK) voted wd~50 thirty fourth in its annual "The World's Best Restaurants" issue. In New York magazine's 101 Best Restaurants edition (January 9, 2006), wd~50 was awarded four stars (out of a potential five) and was ranked fourth overall. In 2006, in the Michelin Guide's inaugural American edition, wd~50 received one star, which it retained in 2007 and 2008.