Co Review: Co is open for lunch
It’s not often that a restaurant matches the food to its hype. I saw Jim Lahey at the NYCE last September, and it was clear that the guy’s a bread genius. He’s passionate about bread the way I’m not about blogging. His much anticipated pizzaria, Co or Company, has opened to much praise. Serious Eats is a big fan, and so are many others. I went this past weekend because apparently they are not open for lunch. The waitor informed me that they had been doing lunch service for about a week now.
I strolled into Co around 12:40 on a Saturday. That’s the only day they’re open on the weekends according to their website as of today. I was maybe the eighth person in the dining room that day. In other words, if you’re sick and tired of the crazy wait and the rumors of them running out of dough late at night… well, try lunch. It’s a peaceful environment, at least until the foodies get word that they can skip the line when they go for lunch.
The pizza’s at Co are individual sized and one hungry person can easily down five or size slices. This is about a pizza and a half, but since they don’t sell half pizza’s I went for two. The first was the Amalfi, which has green olives, anchovies, and chili pepper flakes. Growing up during the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle years, I kind of never ordered anchovies on pizzas. I mean, what would Michaelangelo and Leonardo say about that? These days I actually kind of like them. You don’t really taste the anchovies that much in the Amalfi so that’s either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how much you like anchovies. I would rate this pizza from Co as above average, but nothing spectacular.
The great thing about this pizza is the crust. It’s just so damn delicious. When they first bring the pizza out to your table, it’s like seeing your girlfriend for the first time. Your mouth starts to water, your glands expand… wait a minute now. You know what I mean. It gets you excited. It’s steaming and the crust is just perfect. Jim Lahey is a bread expert and crust is basically bread, right? And what a damn fine piece of bread it is…
The Ham and Cheese was really awesome though. While the Amalfi was really only great with regards to the crust, the Ham and Cheese pizza was perfect all around. This Lahey creation include these toppings: pecorino, gruyere, buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, and caraway.
Compared with the Amalfi, this was a winner. The cheese worked well with the prosciutto and the crust. I guess it’s hard to screw up ham and cheese when you use tasty ham and tasty cheese. It sounds so simple when you think about it, but I wonder if Dominoes could make a good ham and cheese pizza.
Of course, I also offer an obligatory upskirt shot of the crust. You can see that the bottom of the crust has a nice pattern. Overall, Co is a really solid pizza place provided you don’t have to wait a long time for a table. If you get to sit down right away after you walk in, your experience should be a very good one. The staff is really friendly and the kitchen churned out the pizza in a short amount of time. Prices are decent here too, and they seem to be in line with what you’d expect from a pizza place with a famous chef. The Amalfi was $9 and the Ham and Cheese was $14. You probably would be fine with a single pizza unless you’re a fatass like me.
I haven’t been to Motorino in Williamsburg, but that’s the place that people use to compare to Co. It does kind of remind me of Fornino which serves up really tasty pizzas too. Over at Fornino I also tried a tomato based pizza that included olives and anchovies, and that version was better than the Amalfi, which also had olives and anchovies. It becomes a bit harder to compare Co to a place like DiFara’s because at DiFara’s, you get a huge pizza that has traditional looking slices. How do you compare individual sized pizza’s to a huge pizza with eight slices?
The takeaway from Co is that Jim Lahey really knows how to make some bread, and what’s pizza besides thin bread with some tasty stuff on it. Yes, that’s an oversimplification but it kind of fits. This is why Co can produce a quality product. The crust is just so damn tasty. If you like to try places that’s hyped up and see what everyone is talking about, I suggest you go at lunch. The crust alone should be a good time.
Co230 9th Ave.New York, NY 10001212-243-1105