Most of us who are familiar with Jim Lahey’s Sullivan Street Bakery are fans of his bread and wouldn’t pass up the chance of trying out his wonderful pizza. Hell, the biggest temptation was Adam Kuban’s multiple posts about Co. made us all weak in the knees and tortured us with the glorious food photos when he previewed and ate during the soft opening run.
Expecting a somewhat of a long wait, knowing that this place is on the small side and I’m in a group of 8 hungry stomachs, I went with Helen early straight after work to get myself on the wait list.
The bad part was waiting for nearly 1 1/2 hours, hearing my friends’ complaints that they’re dying of starvation but we got a table before the second wave of people crowding near the entrance and bar area. I think the host felt awful that I had to wait for so long and sat us on the round table that’s on the corner of the restaurant, closest to the windows. (For Robyn’s sake, she’s lucky enough that she works a few blocks away from Co., that I texted her to come over NOW! As for Kathy, she had to come down from her Midtown East office to get her skinny self here.)
When we sat down and looked at the menu for a minute or two, we lost patience and ordered two pizzas without Robyn and Kathy.
Thepizza made of bechamel, parmesan, buffalo mozzarella, caramelized onions and lardons were stuff that dreams were made of. Some people have indicated on the Web that it’s heavy but we loved everything about it. The creamy, seductive bechamel sauce meshed with the beautifully, melted mozzarella cheese, the salty hit from the parmesan cheese, and the sweet caramelized onions. OMG. We loved this pizza and we all agreed that we would eat a huge bucket of their bechamel sauce. (Side note, Robyn made it on time for the last piece of this pizza.)
The ham and cheese pizza topped with pecorino, gruyere, buffalo mozzarella cheeses with prosciutto and caraway was very good as well. It’s not as impressive as the flambée but we liked it a lot. (Kathy made it for this pizza – about 20 minutes later when we started.)
Moving onto the bosciaola pizza, made of tomato, mushroom, buffalo mozzarella, pork sausage, onion, and chili peppers was appealing because of its spiciness. For me, it warmed my palate as I kept munching on my piece probably from the combination of onions and chilies. Helen found this pizza too spicy for her tastebuds that she passed her portion to Doug.
For Kathy’s peace of mind, we ordered another round of flambée pizza. We didn’t mind since we loved this one a lot and we still have room for more pizza.
And to have some form of roughage for dinner, we ordered the Popeye pizza. Personally, I don’t want greens on my pizza but this isn’t bad. I think what made me liked it was the gentle hit of garlic and the yeasty flavor of the crust.
By the time we’re satiated, I asked for the check and along with it, came with a small plate of almond-anise biscotti. These small, crunchy cookies were pretty good. The subtle flavor of anise made it a bit interesting.
Overall, I love all of their pizzas. The crust sometimes is a bit too burnt or have huge gas bubbles baked into the crust but it’s not that bad. Some particular pizzas were very good to some that I could care less of. And I didn’t try out their toasts, salads or anything that’s not their primary focus – pizza. (Why would anyone try to eat anything beyond a certain food establishment’s forte?) I would love to go there again. Hopefully soon.
Co. (fyi, it’s known as “Company”)
230 9th Avenue (at W 24th Street)
New York, NY 10001 (map)