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Rolling the Dice: WD~50

Every week, we take our turn with Lady Luck on the BruniBetting odds as posted by Eater. Just for kicks, we track Eater’s bet too, and see who is better at guessing what the unpredictable Bruni will do. We track our sins with an imaginary $1 bet every week.

The Line: Tomorrow, Frank Bruni reviews the city’s lone successful example of haute molecular gastronomy, WD~50. The Eater oddsmakers have set the action as follows (√√ denotes the Eater bet):

Zero Stars: 8-1
One Star: 5-1
Two Stars: 3-1
Three Stars: 2-1 √√
Four Stars: 5,000-1

The Skinny: WD~50 currently carries two New York Times stars, per William Grimes in June 2003. It also carries a Michelin star, and for whatever it’s worth, three stars on this website.

Frank Bruni’s re-reviews almost always come with a change of rating, unless there has been an intervening event to justify a fresh look—and there has been no such event at WD~50. The restaurant certainly hasn’t regressed in the last five years, which suggests the rating has nowhere to go but up.

The X-factor is that Bruni generally doesn’t like food you have to think about. The few examples of avant-garde cuisine that have come along during his tenure have not won favorable reviews. This would also be his third 3-star review in just five weeks.

But we have to agree with Eater that this review is pointless unless Bruni upgrades the restaurant to three stars. One can never put it past Bruni to waste a review slot, but we’re not betting he will. Expect Bruni to give Wylie Dufresne credit for staying in the kitchen at WD~50, when most chefs of his calibre (and fame) would surely by now have opened a second restaurant…or a third, or a fourth.

The Bet: We agree with Eater that Frank Bruni will award three stars to WD~50.

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