Navigating New York
My first stop in New York City was a new hangout called 632 on Hudson, which is located on the border of the Far West Village and Meatpacking District. It’s a terrace converted into a club, lounge and basement speakeasy. Their whole concept revolves around the artistic community in New York, including the food and entertainment circles. For example, there’s a small concert space within the venue where you can catch 15 to 20-minute previews of recitals going on at Carnegie Hall. There’s also a kitchen area which acts as a test lab for chefs – if there’s a new restaurant opening, 632 would invite the chef to do a short series of special dinners as a sneak peek of the launch. One of the highlights of my trip was Contra. The two chefs, Fabian von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone, are very young, which is the case with a lot of these hot restaurants right now. Their food is extremely simple in the Nordic sense, influenced by Fabian’s time at Noma. Only a six-course menu is available, which offers amazing value at US$67 (S$90) and introduces dishes such as scallops with sea urchin. Contra also has a more casual offshoot next door called Wildair.