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Good News Bad News: Co. Pizzeria

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Chelsea: Since it was anticipated for over a year, we're not surprised at the breadth of reactions to Jim Lahey's Co. (or Company on the restaurant's signage, Co-pane as the website is spelled). What is somewhat surprising is how many negative comments revolve around front of the house operations, purportedly under the thumb of the great Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Yet our Eater Ops have confirmed: one month in, the FOH still needs attention. Happily, the consensus on the pizza is more positive. Let's take a look at the good news, the bad news, and everything in between:

The Very Good News: For Slice, Co. lived up to everything they already hyped it up to be, though it should be noted this taste test was prior to the big open: “The pies on Wednesday night were amazing. Lahey is a bread genius, and as the crust is the hardest part of pizza to perfect, we're already in good hands. The hole structure was beautiful, giving the end crust a crisp, chewy puffiness that would compel even crust-haters to finish an entire slice. There was ample flavor here, thanks to a dough that was left to rise 24 hours, developing a yeasty tang. The crust was crisp and chewy, but did not suffer from overchewiness." [Slice]

The OK News: For many Yelpers, Co. fell short of expectations in its opening days, but those who have made more recent visits have become instant fans: “Co. is a damn fine spot for upscale comfort food. Pluses far outweigh minuses here, beginning with the complimentary carafe of filtered water, for those who drink the stuff, which is brought to start the meal, thereby avoiding the awkward sparkling water hustle. A full bar would be an improvement and I'm sure is only a matter of time. An added bonus was seeing Jean-Georges himself seated at the head of a long table directly behind us while Lahey was working melted mozzarella magic in the kitchen. [Yelp]

The Mostly Good News: For those eGulleters who have tried Co. the general consensus is that the pizza is good but that the service still needs a little tweaking: “The service here is still pretty discombobulated. It's hard to tell who is a server and who is a diner, we were delivered the wrong food twice, one server didn't know what pizza he was delivering and had to consult the menu, and water glasses occasionally went empty. Also, pizzas did not come out at the same time, so for those not sharing this could lead to an awkward situation. The pizzas are best when piping hot. Hopefully, these issues will get sorted as things calm down and the staff becomes more seasoned. Crowds and service issues aside, this is seriously tasty pizza. [eG]

The Bad News: One Chowhounder provides his two cents about what he considered a disappointing pie: “We went on Saturday night and tried three pies - the Margherita, the Popeye and the Flambe. I loved the char and the texture of the crust around the perimeter, I found but the crust in the center of all three was limp. the tomato sauce to be a bit acidic and bland. The spinach on the Popeye was very tasty, but I felt it was a bit over-loaded. We will certainly go back in a few weeks once they have been up and running for a bit.” [CH]

The Very Bad News: We've heard numerous cases of a dicey FOH situation, but this: “Two of us stopped by last night at 9:30, prepared to wait for a while given the tremendous buzz that Co. generated after its opening. We were not prepared for a startlingly rude hostess duo who first told us that the wait would be 45 mins (we were fine with that), almost immediately revised that to 60 mins (fine with that, too), and then came back to tell us that "the kitchen has run out of food," that "we could wait if we wanted to, but the kitchen wouldn't have any food by the time we were seated." Final words of advice were that we were "better off leaving now because we're just totally slammed." [CH]

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230 9th Ave, Manhattan, NY 10001 (212) 243-1105 Visit Website

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