Chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske of Contra have been hustling to open their second restaurant Wildair, just two doors up Orchard Street from their acclaimed tasting menu restaurant. They will finally fire up the burners this weekend for a soft opening, and plan to serve a limited menu until their official debut a week from today. The concept here is more casual than at Contra, both in look and menu. Seating is at two long, nearly communal rows of high tables, plus at two counters on either side, one facing a mirror and the other, more prized area, looking into the small kitchen.
The Menu: Options here come a la carte and are a bit simpler than next door, but the menu still shows signs of Stone and von Hauske's style. There's toast with little neck clams, lardo, and spinach; beef tartare with smoked cheddar and chestnuts; radishes with seaweed butter; and a steak for two. There's also bread with oil for $5, which is pricier than the often praised housemade bread at Contra, but in all likelihood just as good.