You know, New Yorkers, we are serious about our pizza. So serious we’re even willing to queue up on Tock for one week to get our hands on Wylie Dufresne’s rendition of the perfect pie. Yes, Wylie Dufresne pizza: just how good is it? Well, we have the honest review.
Award-winning Chef Wylie Dufresne of molecular cuisine famed restaurant WD-50, really is just like us. Over the pandemic, he got into the baking craze. Dramatically different from his Wagyu flat iron, mushroom jerky, grape verjus, he kept it real with a pizza. His quest to make the perfect pie is the limited run Stretch Pizza, served out of Breads Bakery on 16th Street near Union Square. Yes, Wylie Dufresne pizza; it’s here. That is, if you can get on the list.
How it works:
You get your Stretch pies by signing up on Tock for a highly sought-after slot from Tuesday to Thursday, 5-9pm. Slots become available weekly and yes, you have to jump on them relatively quickly. They do sell out, to get a shot at the $19 or so pies. When you arrive at your slot, you check-in at the Stretch counter at Breads. It’s usually a 10–15-minute wait. As a consolation, they offer you complimentary breadsticks, which are a respectful pass. The raw garlic is super sharp the carbs are better saved for the pizza. Service though is super friendly. There is no delivery, and you can’t game your way in through Postmates, Caviar or Seamless. For those who don’t live in the area, it is a mission.
If you’re expecting the pizza to smoke, crystallize, combust or perform for you like Chef Wylie’s regular meals, you will be disappointed. This really is pizza. It’s offered in a rotation of variations, including a regular with a scientific amount of red sauce and a combination of aged mozzarella and parmesan cheese. They have an everything pizza that has sesame, poppy seeds, garlic and other spices that are topped over a thin layer of cream cheese. There’s also a couch potato pizza with potato, scallion and aged mozzarella. When ramps were in season, they made an appearance on another variation. The sleeper hit is the calzone, filled with eggs, scallions, muenster and American cheeses.
No matter what you choose, the pizza is super thin in the middle, with a crispy crunchy crust that’s slightly charred and puffed. It all tastes like pizza though, and at that, it’s good pizza. For us, it didn’t give us the “best pizza of my life” moment. We found we needed to add more to the pizza. On the couch potato, caviar went quite well. On the Classic New York, fresh crushed red pepper, and just a tiny bit of spicy olive oil and smoked Maldon sea salt did the trick. Part of the issue was the transport home and the reheat, which slightly dried out the pizza.
We really wanted to like the everything pizza more, though we discovered that it was even better the next morning, warmed up. It gave us our bagel fix, without all that extra bread.
It is a shame to eat this pizza without a good bottle of wine or at least a beer. However, it’s really best eaten right out of the oven, on the plastic chairs and tables set up for Breads bakery. Otherwise if you’re going super casual, then pick up the pie and eat it hot on the way to the park, if you don’t live next door to breads.
For those who are taking the pie home, you will absolutely want to reheat. This pizza is best eaten piping hot.
7.5/10. Wylie Dufresne pizza; would we do it again? Probably, where we would eat it immediately out of their oven while walking over to the park with our own Brunello in a thermos.