Jim Lahey is the man of the hour. He is the proprietor of the much-buzzed about Sullivan St. Bakery as well as the more recent Co. pizzeria in Chelsea. He has revolutionized bread-baking with this no-knead technique, and ever since his pizza was featured on the cover of my beloved Bon Appetit magazine last year, bloggers everywhere have been obsessing over his recipe.
Now, there is so much pizza in New York, ranging from the $1 slice to the hundreds of dollars’ worth of caviar-topped pie, that it can be difficult to distinguish the good from the bad and the ugly. And that’s why when you find a truly great pizza, one that you won’t soon forget, it’s a special and sometimes even intimate experience. It is for this reason that my friends, Sofya and Paige, and I ended up at Co. on a Friday night.
While waiting for our table, we got drinks at the bar. The beers on tap were $8, which I thought overpriced, especially considering they were locally produced. Once seated, we ordered a kale and apple salad (no photo) to start, which was a special that evening. The $11 salad was comprised of some barely-chopped kale, apple slices and a simple vinaigrette. It was totally forgettable – we barely made a dent in it.
But then… the pizzas arrived. First was the Brussels sprout beauty photographed above. The chewy, salty crust was topped with shaved Brussels, hunks of bacon, and cheese. The Brussels shavings crisped up in the oven and made the texture of the pizza more intriguing than it would’ve been otherwise, and the generous bits of pork made the pie oh-so-luxurious. The existence of this pizza alone gives the classic marinara-mozzarella pie a run for it money.
Next came the shiitake pizza: a caramelized onion and walnut puree spread over a perfect crust, topped with what seemed like several pounds of earthy shiitakes, and perfumed with a hint of rosemary. This pizza is what a mushroom lover like me has only dared dream of until now. It was absolutely divine! Calling this pie a pizza is insufficient and misleading, in fact – it is something completely otherworldly.
This Jim Lahey guy took something as classic as pizza and turned it into something new and extraordinary. If you live in New York or will be here anytime soon, you owe it to yourself to experience Co.