Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Co.

Co., Company, whatever you call it, last night I finally made it over to Jim Lahey's (of Sullivan St. Bakery) much talked about and consistently packed Chelsea pizza spot. After getting negged for a table more times than I'd like to admit, I figured going in for the kill well over a year after their opening and at a little before 6pm on a Wednesday, I'd be safe. Some would argue too safe. Yes. It was early bird special time. With no discounted meal option.

Regardless, this place is pretty fabulous inside in an effortlessly chic kind of way: wood paneled walls, galvanized light fixtures, clean; simple. They're rocking the communal tables thing which I'm totally fine with and as evidenced earlier, they do not take reservations. But no need to fret. You either wait, patiently, or head on over to El Quinto Pino (go massacre an uni panini) or Txikito across the street. Or over to Tia Pol or Cookshop or The Red Cat. Or up on to 8th Ave. for Cuban at Casa Havana. You have options. Lots and lots and lots of options. But for pizza? And really, really good pizza? Oh you're most certainly staying put.

Glass of Sangiovese.

It's debatable whether or not I was more excited to try the Radicchio Salad with Shitake, Taleggio, Balsamic and Olive Oil (below) or the pizzas. You could add some Taleggio to nearly anything and I'd probably eat it, but with the sweet aged balsamic with the bitter radicchio, it made for quite the combination of flavors. The raw shitakes didn't really serve much of a purpose to my palette, but a lovely and interesting salad nonetheless.

Beet Salad with Pumpkin Seed, Watercress, Scallion, and Olive Oil.

Flambé Pizza: Bechamel, Parmesan, Buffalo Mozzarella, Caramelized Onions, Lardons. When this pizza first hit the table, I spotted weary eyes across the table. "It's a little burnt, no?" The worry of many a dining patron at Co. But when you take a bite: the thin yet satisfyingly chewy crust, with the beyond creamy combination of cheeses, and sugary sweet onions, and chewy, meaty lardon chunks, you need and want and crave that char. It's the flavor note that brings the whole thing together. That's not burnt my friends. That's strategy. That's seriously yummy intent.

Popeye Pizza: pecorino, gruyère, buffalo mozzarella, spinach, black pepper, garlic.

I'm not sure you can go to Co. without hearing about the Popeye. It's kind of the one inevitable menu item that's garnered some serious watercooler talk. And, I've gotta say, for damn good reason. Spinach can often go unnoticed. An incredibly nutritious yet flavorless green. But not here. This is the most concentrated yet pure spinach flavor I've ever come across. It tastes the way all spinach should taste. You know, spinach-y. And with the pungency of garlic and lots and lots of fresh cracked black pepper, it's no longer any wonder why this pie has been the center of food gossip.

So much to my content, Co. most certainly lived up to its expectations. Pizza, some salad, and a glass of wine will never not be a meal that I can't cozy up to. It's elevated and quite serious comfort food that keeps this place busy at all times. And I swear, it's because of that char. Not burnt.

Co.

230 Ninth Ave. (at 24th St.)

FOOD: 38

SERVICE: 28

LOOK: 19

VIBE: 8

FINAL GRADE: 93

3 comments:

Alexis said...

I hope you had a six point lager to start off. Well dont avoiding the citrusy chicken live pate, that was the low point of our meal at Co. I am rambling.

Einat said...

MMmmm I LOVE the spinach! YUM!

家瑩 said...

It's great!!..................................................

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