Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske (a former Eater Young Gun), the young duo behind the affordable and innovative Lower East Side tasting menu restaurant Contra, are planning a new restaurant just a few doors down on Orchard Street. In contrast to Contra, which only just added a slightly longer, more expensive tasting menu to it's offerings, Von Hauske tells Eater that the new place, Wildair, will have "a more casual, social setting," and will offer an a la carte menu "with many shareable plates." It will also have a big focus on wine, with a list of organic and biodynamic bottles pulled together by Jorge Riera, who's been the sommelier at Contra for the last year.
The project is something that Stone and von Hauske, along with their partner Thomas Martin, have actually been trying to do for at least a year now. They applied for a liquor license for a space on Allen Street last April, with hopes of opening a more casual restaurant there. Those plans fell through, but they've been searching ever since, and now have settled on a space at 142 Orchard Street.
Work has been going along quietly for long enough that the team plans to open Wildair by next month. Given the critical acclaim that Contra has racked up in its year and a half in existence, this is one to keep an eye on.