New York Times food critic Frank Bruni has finally written his review of Co. — which was perhaps the most highly anticipated pizzeria leading up to its opening in January (Sneak Peak – NYC’s Most Highly Anticipated Pizzeria Opening).
I’ve already reviewed it a couple of times (including Trip Number Two To Co.), but I am not as good of a wordsmith as Mr. Bruni. Who knew he was so funny!
Mr. Lahey couldn’t have made a bigger splash if he’d named his new place Momofuku Mozzarella Bar.
Although Mr. Bruni writes very positive things about the restaurant (ultimately giving it one star, his review doesn’t go without its share of critism:
But [Lahey] could indeed improve upon his pizzas somewhat. Although the best of them are outstanding and all pack the pleasures of a serious crust with serious blisters — Mr. Lahey uses an oven that generates heat in excess of 900 degrees — he hasn’t yet nailed the toppings. It’s as if he’s too focused on, and maybe too confident about, what lies beneath. A pizzaiolo-come-lately, he needs to sweat the cheese and the rest of it a little more.
On some pizzas — the mushroom-bedecked boscaiola, for example — the advertised bufala mozzarella was barely discernible. The classic margherita pizza suffered from a deficit of just about everything: cheese, tomato, even basil leaves, rationed as if they were shavings of white truffle. Co.’s pizzas read different from the way they register, the menu touting twice as many toppings as actually make an impact.
Mr. Bruni and I agreed about many aspects of Co. In my review last month I wrote:
The ricotta bread and toast with chicken liver were absolutely delicious. I can’t say I’ve ever had chicken liver spread (nor does it sound particularly appetizing), but I was thoroughly impressed. The ricotta bread was equally as satisfying.
Mr. Bruni writes:
By all means get the pizza bianca, along with ricotta for spreading and olive oil for dipping, though you’ll want to keep some of the bianca pristine. That’s how they eat it in Rome, where they sagely eat a great deal of it.
Get the creamy chicken liver, which comes on toasted bread.
But his favorite five pies differ from mine. Bruni writes:
I’d rank the top five regulars as follows: the popeye (spinach leaves with three cheeses); the ham and cheese (with first-rate prosciutto); the stracciatella (more densely cheesy than many other pies, with some arugula and crushed tomato); the flambé (rich and maybe a touch too sweet, courtesy of béchamel and caramelized onions) and the leek-and-sausage.
My favorite pie is the Flambe.
When all is said and done, I think Bruni gives Co. a fair and accurate write up. He is after all one of the most renowed food critics in the world. Who am I to break down a Frank Bruni anyway?