Wildair – Where Chefs Eat in New York when they want pig’s head on toast and a portion of the old Lower East Side to share
This small, ambitious wine bar in a tiny store is ‘very crushable in every way' says Momofuku's Sean Gray
This week we’re coming to America courtesy of the latest edition of our global gastronomy guide Where Chefs Eat We thought we’d kick off in New York in an area of Manhattan that was very dear to us, back in the day.
Of course, these days, the Lower East Side exists more as an idea than a place. But it was once a neighborhood where a soul with an artistic bent and a surfeit of talent could make art come alive.
Now, as Where Chefs Eat notes, “it’s a bunch of condos and boutiques. Except, perhaps, for Wildair, the small but ambitious wine bar from Fabian Von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone on Orchard Street.
“The pair, whose Contra is similarly an embassy of freewheeling artistic ambition, sling scallop crudo with avocado like it’s no big deal. Pig’s head on toast (with stinging nettles and ’nduja) might appear one night, and then never again—and they pour natural wines like Matassa as if it was nothing. Of course it is something and, as Where Chefs Eat reveals, “if you’re lucky enough to find a perch at the tiny storefront, something not to miss.”
And it’s not just wannabe hipsters who love it. Sean Gray executive chef at Momofuku Loves it for its “Great wine list, great food menu, great music.” And he calls it “very crushable in every way.”
Wildair is just one of 4500 recommendations in our new guide on where to eat around the world from 650 chefs who make it their business to know what to eat where. And while the cover has changed, the idea behind Where Chefs Eat is exactly the same as it was when we published the very first edition back in 2012.
The premise is that the modern chef is a fantastic source of guaranteed good meal recommendations, from humble holes-in-the-wall - to the most luxurious places around - and every dining experience inbetween the two. And this time there are a third more recommendations than ever before.
So whether you desire just a late-night snack from a burger van, a 400-year-old clam in an art-filled restaurant or a fabulously fashionable start to the day, you’ll find it in Where Chefs Eat. 570 destinations. 70 countries. Across six continents. It's no idle boast to say that this edition has the most wide-ranging and eclectic set of listings we’ve ever researched and published.
We’re only focusing on one restaurant per city in our Phaidon.com series but the book contains countless recommendations in each city around the world. We’ve also launched an app for this third edition which features all the places in the book in an on the go format for when you’re out and about. Head into the store and snap up your guide to great eating now. And if you pre-order here you'll get the app free - but for a limited time only.