Wildair is always a great place for natural wine discovery. The last time I was here I became absolutely obsessed with a mineraly rose called Christian Venier Gris Gourlaouen, and I would buy a bottle of it any chance I could get at Discovery Wines in the East Village. That was several years ago, and on a recent visit, I similarly went nuts for an amazing, jammy red Txaranga from a Spanish vineyard called Vinya Ferrer. Unfortunately this bottle is hard to find and only seems to be available at Dandelion Wine in Greenpoint.
Which means this is a great excuse to come to Wildair again. Not only is the wine list fantastic, but the accompanying menu of small plates is equally thoughtful and interesting. I remember I wasn’t as effusive in my praise about the food on my first visit, but things have improved significantly since then.
I especially loved the dish of slices of persimmon and butternut squash draped in a luscious stracciatella cheese, as well as the potato darphin with hokkaido uni, which looked like uni on top of a hash brown, a head-scratching pairing on paper but in person there was no question about the compatibility. The crispy grain salad will be a healthy and righteous choice, but there’s a little more weight and texture to the greens that make them much more satisfying than a typical salad. Or if you’re in the mood for something more, then the entree-sized pork milanese plate can definitely feed a party of two. The staff always gives excellent recommendations about which wines to pair with your meal, and they are generous about letting you taste several before committing to one. Or several more, which always happens to be the case.
142 Orchard St (between Delancey and Rivington St)
New York, NY 10002