New York critic Adam Platt files on two Orchard Street hot spots this week: Mission Cantina and Contra. He likes the former more than Danny Bowien's first LES restaurant, Mission Chinese Food, partially because the space has a "refreshing air of permanence about it." He digs the wings, the ceviches, the lamb ribs, and the fried chicken. Platt gives Mission Cantina two stars.
Plattypants does not love the dining room at Contra, but he's impressed by the $55 tasting menus from chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske:
Your five-course dinner might include a tasty risotto made with wheat berries, uni, and fresh clams, and a chunk of seared monkfish, which the young chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske finish, not unpleasantly, with a pale smoked-fish emulsion and a pinch of powdered genmaicha tea. My tepid "slow roasted" pork collar appeared not to have been roasted enough, but my bits of roast chicken leg were more or less perfect, and if the waiter offers you a taste of the house pigeon (honey-colored, like Peking duck, and with the claw still attached) you should order it on the spot.Platt also gives Contra two stars. Platt's reviews usually drop on Sunday night, as opposed to Friday morning. No word yet on whether they will continue to run the week before New York hits stands, or if this is just a surprise early review.
· Platt on Mission Cantina and Contra [GS/NYM]
· All Coverage of Reviews [~ENY~]
[Photo: Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske by Krieger]