It sure ain’t easy to sweep Gael Greene, legendary New York food critic for 45 years, off her feet. In November the author posted an entry on her ‘Insatiable Critic’ blog about a new restaurant on the Lower East Side called Contra, concluding boldly that she liked it better than one Michelin-starred Blanca at Roberta’s (link to previous) and three Michelin-starred Brooklyn Fare. This high praise, along with accolades from various other critics as well as the stamp of approval from Eater NY, catapulted the restaurant’s name into the city’s culinary stratosphere.
Contra has won over local palettes for a few reasons: firstly, it serves a $55 prix-fixe five-course dinner, frankly a bargain in this town, and secondly its menu changes daily, so no two meals are ever quite the same. Their mission is ambitious, but with a team made up of ex Noma chef Fabian von Hauske, Jeremiah Stone of Isa, and sommelier Linda Violago formerly of Mugaritz, Contra delivers: past standout dishes include monkfish with pracicaba broccoli, and wagyu skirt steak with pickled eggplant. Just launched this month is a series of monthly collaborative guest chef dinners, with Ari Taymor of LA’s Alma taking the stage this week. A special one-night-only dinner from a restaurant focusing on one-night-only dinners – how very New York!
138 Orchard Street (between Delancey & Rivington)
+1 212 466 4633
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday