Inside this Week's Contra + Gramercy Tavern Dinner
An inside look at the dinner co-hosted by Food & Wine Best New Chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske, the talent behind Contra and Wildair, and Gramercy Tavern's Michael Anthony and Howard Kalachnikoff.
Last Monday, Food & Wine Best New Chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske, the talent behind Contra and Wildair, spent the night working with Gramercy Tavern chefs Michael Anthony and Howard Kalachnikoff, to put on a collaborative dinner that highlighted their mutual love for exploring new frontiers in American cuisine.
In Gramercy Tavern’s private dining room, the crew offered a 5-course tasting menu, celebrating their shared vision of creativity and seasonality. Tickets for the event were made public in late April, but with only 24 seats, the event sold out in hours. Fortunately, select samplings of their united efforts were available to the crowd in the Tavern Room as a la carte items. Again, guests were in no short supply, filling tables and packing the bar that night.
One of the night’s special joint dishes, a refreshing scallop and uni ceviche adorned with bright nasturtium petals, ushered in spring with its vibrant floral flavors. Another, layers of lamb belly, braised greens, and dried fruit, was pressed overnight before being grilled in lotus leaves. Dessert offerings included a hazelnut mousse tart that concealed a rich complexity in both texture and flavor beneath a modest but composed exterior.
Stone and von Hauske are no strangers to collaborating. They’ve shared their own kitchens with many great chefs—including James Syhabout of the Oakland restaurant Commis, and fellow Best New Chef Kris Yenbamroong, of LA’s Night + Market. And they have been friends with the Gramercy Tavern team for years.
"I first met Michael in New York but then we connected regularly when he would visit family in Paris and I was working over there,” Stone recalls. “After Fabian and I opened Contra, Howard came in to dine, which is when we connected about the idea of one day doing a collaborative dinner—and here we are."