Lunch in New York: The Popeye pie at Co.

The Popeye pie from Jim Lahey's Co. (pronounced Company) in New York's Chelsea area.
(S. Irene Virbila / Los Angeles Times)

I just bought a big bunch of emerald spinach and those green leaves jump-started the memory of a pizza I had when I was in New York last. My friend Daniel Young of Young & Foodish, home of the London pop-ups Burger Monday, SpagWednesday and more, was in town and we could find only one morning -- late -- to meet. His idea was to check out a new coffee place downtown. I’m always ready to get caffeinated, but once I found the spot, it turned out to be less than compelling. Not even anyplace to sit.

Now what? He had a baby stroller in tow. We were close enough to Co. (pronounced Company), bread baker Jim Lahey’s Chelsea pizzeria, that we could walk there, baby stroller and all. We both had a serious hankering for its Popeye pie.


Co. is a wonderful spot for lunch -- often uncrowded, filled with light, and on warmer days, you can sit outside in front. If you want something other than wine, the kitchen makes its own terrific blood orange and passion fruit sodas. I love the bold escarole salad with bread crumbs, anchovies, capers, olive oil and lemon. And add that Popeye pie with pecorino, Gruyère and mozzarella showered with heirloom spinach leaves. The crust is glorious. Lahey, after all, is the founder of Sullivan Street Bakery. Order one more Roman-style pizza, maybe the Boscaiola with pork sausage and mushroom, and it’s plenty for four to share.


The other distinctive advantage at lunch is that it’s quiet enough to talk, which is the whole point of having lunch with a friend, isn’t it? From there, it’s just a short stroll away from the Chelsea Market food concourse and the High Line. Baby went home for a nap, and I continued on.

Co., 230 9th Ave., New York, (212) 243-1105, Escarole salad, $9; pizza pies, $9 to $18.


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