Behind an unobtrusive door on a relatively untraveled stretch of Orchard Street in New York City, Jeremiah Stone, along with his partner Fabian von Hauske, spends his nights wowing diners with a set 5-course menu at Contra, which received a rave review from The New York Times shortly after it opened a couple years ago. (Restaurant critic Pete wells called one of the dishes "truly expressive cooking, exploring shades of flavor more watercolor than acrylic.") Much has been made of the relative youth of the co-chefs—von Hauske was 23 when Contra opened, Stone 28—but Stone traveled and cooked in Europe, worked alongside legend Andre Soltner and food scientist Dave Arnold at the French Culinary Institute, and helped to open up Isa with Ignacio Mattos before giving his own place a whirl. Contra bills itself as serving "contemporary New York cuisine," believable only if wheat berry risotto with uni and clams is the natural, modern extension of a slice of pizza, but diners don't seem to care much about the label—they pack the place nightly. Read more about Stone's hopes, fears, and box of treasures.