There's nothing quite like that bright-eyed excitement you have right before you dive into a 12-course tasting menu.
But we all know how it ends: stomachs full, wallets empty.
But those two things need not be always intertwined. Let us introduce you to Contra, where the emphasis is on the former rather than the latter. The name of the game here is a five course $55 prix-fix dinner, with a revamped menu every night.
Co-owners Fabian von Hauske (formerly of Noma) and Jeremiah Stone (formerly of Isa) are daring to do what few others have been willing to try. Stripped-down New American dishes — such as brassica, ricotta, and ham and guinea hen, broccoli, and garlic — from small, local producers is what you should expect. But daily variations to the menu will never leave you feeling like you're living in Groundhog Day.
And that woman you see working the floor? That's renowned sommelier Linda Milagros Violago, who has created wine lists for Mugaritz and will help you decide which biodynamic wine pairs best with each course.
Which is basically the only decision left on the agenda.Photo: Courtesy SpanishHipster.com