Sullivan St. Bakery
73 Sullivan Street
Old-school slice hounds, Brooklyn nostalgists, and the dairy council will hate us for this. They'll say, "Where's the cheese?" Or "Isn't anyone gonna warm it up?" Then they'll shake their heads and mutter, "That ain't even pizza." Sullivan St. Bakery's Roman-style pizza has nothing in common with that archetypal New York street food, the slice -- except, of course, that it is, indeed, sold by the slice. The bakery's Jim Lahey, the city's premier bread-maker, has redeemed Italy's greatest contribution to walkabout fast food, even if what he calls pizza is unrecognizable to some. He applies the artisanal principles he learned in Rome (high-grade flour and wild yeast; simple, all-natural ingredients; hand-dimpled dough) to his roster of pizzas, which he accessorizes only minimally with a sprinkling of pecorino, thin potato slices, cremini mushrooms, or, in season, baby artichokes or celery root. The quintessential slice, however, is the seductively simple pizza pomodoro: a mere quarter-inch-thick square of incredibly flavorful crust, remarkably crisp around the edge but not brittle, chewy and pliant inside without residual limpness, redolent of ripe fruit and olive oil, and boasting a thin coat of bright, tasty tomato puree and that's it. The flavors commingle nicely at room temperature, making Sullivan St.'s pizza pomodoro perhaps the only pizza that ought to be eaten cold.
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