Wylie Dufresne is making pizza, potato chip salad, pull-apart meatball sliders, and vanilla soft serve wrapped in a hot honey hard shell.
I don’t know about you, but my weekend plans are going to include checking out Wylie Dufresne’s new pizza joint, Stretch Pizza. While you’ve probably heard the story by now, legend has it that the chef who brought brilliant avant-garde Greenmarket expressionist cuisine to Clinton Street a couple of decades ago (launching the careers of many, including Sam Mason), and has since fiddled with a miraculous brand of Du donuts, started making pizza—a lot of pizza—during the pandemic.
Wylie lives around the corner from Gadi Peleg’’s original Breads bakery in Union Square, and after enough visits, a conversation started between the pair, both of whom grew up in the city and loved the magic of New York pizza. Soon, Wylie began popping up in their off-hours for carryout pies and a small sit-down setup.
Now, three years almost to the date that everything shut down thanks to a virus now believed to have been caused by Raccoon Dogs in the Wuhan Market, he and Peleg have opened Stretch Pizza, a New York-style pizzeria where the dough is not tossed, but as the name suggests, stretched. It’s then topped with a variety of wonderful combinations of cheese and wonderful Wylie miscellany.
There’s a Classic New York with tomato sauce, aged mozzarella and Parmesan; and another topped with crinkled cups of spicy pepperoni. I like the sound of the Couch Potato with fingerlings, sour cream, rosemary, scallions, mozzarella and Parmesan; and the Old Town pie, which layers Muenster and sautéed mushrooms with pumpernickel crumbs, a riff on the grilled cheese that Wylie favors at the nearby Old Town Bar. There’s also a pie called Sketches of Spain, with romesco, grilled ramps, mozzarella and Parmesan; and the Everything, topped with cream cheese, aged mozzarella, everything spice and chives that seems to beg for smoked salmon though not sure that works on pizza? (Though pretty sure Jonathan Waxman would disagree.)
For breakfast-for-dinner, have theYolks on You— asparagus and a wd-50-esque egg sauce, or the calzone filled with scrambled eggs, Muenster and American cheeses, and scallions ($7.50).
There’s more to the menu, like a very Wylie Potato Chip Salad where crispy Greenmarket crisps are tossed with frisee, herbs, and olive oil, and dusted in homemade vinegar powder for that salt and vinegar eye-tearing impact, and chickpea panisse “fries” with stretch sauce. Also, Pull Apart Meatball Sliders. I am not at all sure what these are but I’ll be finding out.
For dessert, there’s soft serve ice cream in two flavors: vanilla and banana, the former capped in a hard shell made of hot honey and the latter sprinkled with milk chocolate crumbs. I feel like that’s enough of a reason to go right there even without the magical pies.
To wash it all down there’s a nice beer and wine list and an impressive collection of cocktails including carbonated negronis, and tart and smoky margaritas mixed from tequila, mezcal, lexical, grapefruit, lime, and agave.
Stretch Pizza is located at 331 Park Avenue South, 212-301-7750
TUESDAY-SATURDAY 5:30PM - 10:30PM