First Taste: Co.

co. pizza

On a corner in a Chelsea neighborhood that has gone from restaurant desert to culinary outpost over the past few years (Tía Pol, Red Cat, Klee, Trestle on Tenth, Quinto Pino, Bombay Talkie, and Txikito now sit in a four-block radius), New York’s king of dough—Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery fame—has opened his ode to pizza. Named Co. (pronounced, rather fancifully, “Company”), it was long anticipated, with restaurant sleuths peeking through the paper-covered windows for months, and has been packed from the moment it opened.

The room is sleek and attractive, with plenty of windows, a few seats at a bar, a long communal table down the center, and an outer rim of actual tables. To some degree the menu is still, as Lahey himself avows, a work in progress: The two salads offered are both too bitter, and there is so much spinach on the spinach pizza that everyone I saw eating it ended up scooping some off onto their plate. But these are small faults. Most of the topping combinations are spot on (the ham and cheese was my personal favorite) and the dough is, as you would expect from Lahey, beautiful—crisp yet slightly giving, just yeasty enough, not quite rich but never spartan. These are lovely pies.

Co. 230 Ninth Ave., New York City (212-243-1105)

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