Matthew Kenney may have first made his name with raw foods in New York at the now-closed Pure Food and Wine, but he and chef Scott Winegard, are doing wonderful things with fire at their new East Village vegan pizzeria, 00+Co.
The restaurant’s wood-burning oven is one of the secrets to great pizza, says Winegard (another is the organic 00 flour from which the restaurant takes its name; many say it’s the best variety for pizza dough).
The pizzas range from riffs on classics such as the margherita-like tomato, basil and cashew mozzarella ($15) to a delightful umami bomb with truffled celeriac, maitake mushrooms and parsley pesto ($17). The slightly salty, pleasantly yeasty crust is puffier and thicker than the average Neapolitan-style, making it perfect for the generous application of sturdy vegetables like romesco and broccolini. And instead of aping animal products, ingredients such as the house-made nut cheeses and farro-fennel “sausage” stand on their own, while still providing the richness and savoriness of traditional cheeses and meats.
In addition to the pizza, the menu includes a number of salads and vegetable dishes, many of which also get a smoky flavor from time in the wood-burning oven. Most are excellent: the punchy wood-fired cauliflower with green harissa, walnuts and preserved lemons ($10) is a standout, with just the right balance of sweet, salty and sharp flavors. “We use the same principles in approaching plant-based cooking as for any cuisine,” says Kenney. “We’re always striving for a balance of flavor and texture; it’s the difference between a good and great dish—or pizza.”
And speaking of balance, that’s the word Winegard uses when asked about serving pizza in the current wheat-averse culture: “We don’t suggest you eat wheat or pizza every day, but if you can find the balance in your diet to have some fun, eat pizza from 00+Co.” As the menu evolves with the seasons, we’re looking forward to doing just that.
65 Second Avenue, New York