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Contra Is Closing After a Decade on the Lower East Side

October 28 is the last night of service

Owners Fabian von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone.
Owners Fabián von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone closed Contra, and are replacing the restaurant with something new to follow.
Eater NY
Melissa McCart is the editor for Eater New York.

With the 10-year anniversary approaching early next month, the Michelin-starred, tasting-menu restaurant Contra is closing on the Lower East Side, owners Fabián von Hauske-Valtierra and Jeremiah Stone have announced. The last day of service is on October 28.

“After 10 amazing, crazy, beautiful years of @contrany the time has come to give this beautiful beast a break,” reads the announcement on Instagram.

The anniversary is on October 3, von Hauske-Valtierra confirms, telling Eater, “it’s one of those points where you revisit everything.”

“Honestly, we’ve just reached a point where we needed a change,” he says. “We can’t do more with Contra in our current location, so [we are] just letting it be for a moment.”

A menu written on a piece of lined paper.
The opening menu at Contra.
Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske

Eater’s previous dining critic, Ryan Sutton, consistently praised the restaurant, including during the pandemic, when he noted that that iteration “has mutated from an expensive (albeit accessible) French-American tasting-menu destination into a more affordable place for modern Chinese-Taiwanese takeout.” Of Contra and Wildair in 2021, he said, “The two Lower East Side restaurants remain excellent.”

The most updated Contra menu lists dishes like tofu with maple mirin and buckwheat; soft-shell crab with sorrel; and boudin noir with fava beans and nettles. A shorter menu is $110 while the full tasting menu is $180.

When the restaurant opened in 2013, Stone told Eater, “We’re not trying to say we’re the best chefs in the world. We just want to charge a fair amount so that we can do food that’s interesting and that people like.”

Ten years later, the restaurant, “took the dreams of two twenty year olds and turning them into a career and so many things I am incredibly proud of, things I never imagined possible,” they wrote on Instagram.

Von Hauske-Valtierra confirmed that they’re keeping the location and they’ll eventually put something new in the Contra space but declined to share more information. Wildair will continue on as-is.

To date, the duo owns Wildair on the Lower East Side, Day June Luncheonette, and provisions shop, Paracasa, next door in upstate New York. A third Catskills restaurant project is still forthcoming in Windham, New York.