Skin Contact, August, 2020

Welcome Back to Racines NY and Skin Contact!


It's a tough time for restaurants and bars in NYC which are fighting for survival, as stopping the virus has meant prohibiting dining in, and only limited outdoor seating permitted, with difficult regulations. All over New York, our favorite destinations for wine and cuisine face an uncertain future - even when dining-in is allowed, the limits on capacity will make breaking even uncertain. Our friends at Skin Contact - CSW's Eben Lillie, and his business partners Salma Zerrei and Stefanie Djie, and up the street at Racines NY - Pascaline Lepeltier, Diego Moya and staff - were having a great winter until the virus hit. Both have recently reopened for limited service or take-out - here's the latest news. Please read on and support them if you can...

Good news from our friends at Racines NY!

Diego Moya and Pascaline Lepeltier of Racines

"It is a true pleasure to announce that Racines NY is now open for pre-order Take-Out. As of August 12th, you can order online; the first orders were fulfilled on Friday, August 14th."

"Baby steps (for now), just three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Week in and week out, we will change the menu and expand our offerings, culminating in early September with meals that are either ready-to-cook or ready-to-plate, as well as dishes that are ready-to-eat, requiring no preparation whatsoever. We’ll fold in desserts, some really fun pantry items, and stuff just for the kiddies. And (of course) there will be plenty of wine and other fine things to drink. We’ll soon start cooking five days a week. And then we’ll ultimately expand our footprint by incorporating delivery. And then we wait, again, until we can welcome you all to dine with us in person, the good old-fashioned way.

"But, to begin, we’re taking the Dog Days of Summer head on and we’re going Coastal.

"Lobster Rolls. Our way, with crème fraîche & brown butter, and already-toasted split-top buns. Sweet corn-on-the-cob with mustard-miso aioli and cracked wild rice. Heirloom potato chips. Our ferments and pickles. We don’t make no soggy lobster rolls. This meal is ready-to-plate.

"Have you also gone back to the grind and need a hundred or so ready-to-go dinners to treat your amazing team to a Friday afternoon feast? Are you hosting a small gathering this weekend and loathe to serve more hummus and carrots and cheese and sourdough? Let us know.

"We truly look forward to seeing your beautiful, partially obscured faces, even if just for a momentary exchange of pleasantries and handoffs of delicious food and extraordinary wine."

From Chef/Partner Diego Moya:

"Although we can’t welcome you into our home, we are very excited to be cooking for you again! Each week Dina and I will be creating a meal highlighting all the amazing micro-seasonal produce that is being harvested by our favorite farmers, fishermen and ranchers. This time of year it seems as though you can almost taste sunshine in the vegetables and fruits that are in season. We can’t wait to get back in the kitchen and work with all of this inspiring product and to bring a little of our passion to your home. Preferably shared with loved ones and paired with a delicious bottle of wine."

From Sommelière/Partner Pascaline Lepeltier, MS:

Pascaline is ready....

"For almost five months Racines NY’s cellar has been sleeping, waiting for the moment we could again share our love and passion for real wines with you. We are beyond excited this time is finally here! As Diego is lighting up the stoves to prepare some delicious, seasonal dishes, unlocking flavors in his truly secret and mysterious ways, I am working on putting together a special selection of bottles that will change weekly with the menu. And if you are thirstier, beginning Monday, just contact me via the website and tell me what you would like to drink and your budget, and I will put together a selection for you from the wine list."

Click Here To Order On-Line





Skin Contact during opening week, February 2020

In February of this year, Skin Contact opened its doors at 76 Orchard Street in the Lower East Side of New York, with Eben Lillie (of Chambers Street) and his business partners Stefanie Djie and Salma Zerrei at the helm.

Stefanie, Christian Tschida, Eben, and Salma, February 2020

The bar was open, and positively alive, for four fantastic weeks, and then had to shutter due to the pandemic. Skin Contact has been navigating the evolving bar and restaurant laws ever since, reopening as a makeshift wine shop for a short time, then selling wine in a to-go cup, and finally being allowed to place seating on the sidewalk. With Orchard Street now temporarily closing to traffic (until 8pm on weekdays and until 11pm on weekends), the team at Skin Contact has been able to expand into the street, adding tables while maintaining social distancing. It's the first turn of good fortune after waiting 9 months for their wine and beer license (all the while paying rent!) and then ironically opening a wine bar called Skin Contact weeks before a global pandemic hit the US! Eben, Salma and Stefanie will be happy to see you if you can make the trek or bike ride! The wine bar is open from 4pm till 10pm and closed on Monday and Tuesday (opening Tuesdays post Labor Day). Eben is running special wine classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and hosting casual, socially distanced, wine tastings in the street on Saturdays, with the chance to try a plethora of wines and take in the LES vibe. Due to the current laws, the wine bar is required to serve food to all patrons, so please bring at least a small apetite if you can make it to Orchard Street! 

Any inquiries about wine classes, tastings, or reservations, email, message us on Instagram (click here!), or visit the website at