Here’s a what’s new on the Lower East Side food scene:
Wildair, the new casual restaurant from the team behind Contra opens tonight at 142 Orchard St., after a few days in soft-open mode. Just a couple of doors down from Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske’s acclaimed prix-fixe restaurant, Wildair offers mostly small plates and natural and biodynamic wines. There’s radishes with seaweed butter ($12), clams on toast with spinach and lard ($17), fried squid with onion and basil ($17) and a version of Contra’s famous home-baked bread ($5). No reservations accepted.
Pete Wells of the Times awards Danny Bowien’s Mission Chinese two stars, the same rating he gave the celebrity chef in 2012 at the original Orchard Street location. Many of the new dishes, he says, are “smart, layered and vibrant enough to win over anybody who shows up thinking that Mission Chinese Food is still in the business of knocking your head against the wall until you smile or pass out or both.” The original “hallucinatory all-ages chile-pepper party,” Wells concludes, has been replaced by a “nearly normal restaurant” that nonetheless “is still a trip.”
Eater has the scoop on Fuku, David Chang’s new fried chicken sandwich spot in the old Momofuku space.
Black Crescent is ready to reopen after last winter’s devastating fire at 76 Clinton St. The cocktail lounge and oyster bar is just waiting on Con Ed.