Wildair is the sister of Contra where we dined this past spring. Wildair is a small hip restaurant on the lower east side putting out small seasonal dishes for a food loving crowd. All the tables are high-top which works so well with the open kitchen in the back. The dark grey walls with the excellent edgy music in the background (although just the right volume so you can hear the people at your table) appears to be just put together in a way that works but I am sure it was well thought out because it really works. The vibe gives the chefs freedom to be creative and not set in stone.
We each had a glass of this rose champagne.
We started with “our bread” and olive oil. They are baking some really good bread but the olive oil, not sure where it is from, is layered, rich and takes the light crispy bread to another level. Someone had already snagged a piece before the pic.
Oysters…lots of fish on the menu right now.
Shishito peppers served with nama yuba. Nama yuba is essentially a tofu whipped cream. Think mayo without the eggs but using tofu. Interesting flavor that is subtle enough to let the peppers sing.
Quarters of lettuce that are roasted so that parts of the lettuce are browned and then doused with a pistachio dressing that manages to seep into the folds. This is really not what I expected and worth getting.
Corn, fennel, schmaltz and herbs. This had a weird crunchy texture that I didn’t love. Not sure if it was the combo of crunch with the soft sweetness of the corn but too many flavors going on here for me.
Underneath these perfectly sliced radishes is a fluke crudo.
Potato darphin, a thick slice of crispy potato pie underneath a scoop of uni and jalapenos. I just love uni.
If you love beef tartare this is the way to go. Beef tartare underneath grated smoked cheddar and crunch brazil nuts. So simple and so good.
Spicy tuna toast (tuna without the roll) smothered over a slice of toasted bread and topped with cherry tomatoes and scallions. Perfect end of season dish.
Pork milanese that was as good as any pork milanese I have had in Berlin served with mustard greens and gribiche. Gribiche is a french mayo-style dressing that they had mixed with something spicy that was really good. I could have spread it on “our” bread.
Wagyu steak. Just look at it. Need I say more?
The wines here are important. They work at finding off the beaten path wines. We had two red wines.
One was Plou Plou from France. This was not that heavy but a light fruity red for the first part of our meal.
The second was rich and layered. Really delicious. Coll del Sabater Conca de Barbera, Spanish wine.
Dessert was a panna cotta with blueberry granita and a honey crumble. Didn’t love this but I don’t love granita.
On the other hand, the chocolate hazelnut tart was sublime.