The dress code at Contra is hoodies and uncreased brows, which is unusual for a tasting menu-only joint. But the 20-somethings are flocking here for very good reason: the music on the soundtrack is by musicians who debuted yesterday and the food tastes like something that could only be created today. Just a list of ingredients tells the tale: walnut butter encased in knotweed, green strawberries bathed in almond milk atop fluke, kale vichyssoise, an olive oil moose with elderflower granita, pickled celery and pistachio. So yes, you’re going to try some things you’ve never put in your mouth before—or at least have never put in your mouth together—and I’m betting you’ll be blown away. The only downside to dining here, for us older folks is the noise level (high) and the bench seating (hard).

Tip: If you can’t get a reservation at Contra, head to its off-shoot wine bar Wildair ★★ at 142 Orchard St. ( It’s walk-in only, with stools instead of benches, but the food is of the same high standard and inventiveness as at Contra (in fact, it may now be the more popular of the two).