Restaurant Review: New York, New York

Wildair


Spicy tuna, scallion, and tomatoes

At Contra, chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske challenge diners with unexpected flavor combinations. At Wildair, their new wine bar just down the street, it’s the wine list that does the provoking. Wine director Jorge Riera has built his list around small-production, low-intervention producers, most often from France and Italy, and with particular attention to those who play outside appellation rules. A lengthy roster of pét-nats sets the tone for the list, rife with little-known producers like Costadilà, which makes Prosecco in Italy’s Veneto, and Jean-Yves Peron, who works with altesse, mondeuse and jacquère in France’s Savoie. The still wines are no less intriguing, with cult favorites like Eric Pfifferling Tavel and the Dard & Ribo Rhônes. Any bottle makes a great excuse to order up bar snacks like the unreasonably light and lemon-kissed fried squid and a surprisingly complex lettuce-and-chervil salad. You could make a light meal from the beef tartare, crunchy with buckwheat and enriched with smoked cheddar, or the juicy head-on shrimp, especially in tandem with the house-made sourdough bread.


April 2016 Update: At Contra, chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske challenge diners with unexpected flavor combinations. At Wildair, their wine bar just down the street, it’s Jorge Riera who provokes drinkers with his wine list. He built it around small production, biodynamic wines, most often from France and Italy, with particular attention to those made outside appellation rules. A lengthy list of pét-nats sets the tone, including little-known producers like Costadila, who makes Prosecco in Italy’s Veneto, and Jean-Yves Peron, who works with altesse, mondeuse and jacquère in France’s Savoie. The still wines are no less intriguing, with cult favorites like Eric Pfifferling’s Tavel and the Dard & Ribo Rhônes. And then there’s the beef tartare, crunchy with buckwheat and enriched with smoked cheddar…


April 2017: Wildair is consistently packed, drawing people in with what’s likely the longest selection of pét-nats in the city, as well as a cellar packed with small-production, biodynamic producers from around the world, at encouraging prices. It’s the work of Jorge Riera, whose list is as challenging and delicious as the food turned out by Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske. The team also runs Contra, just up the street.

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