I can only hope that when I am old enough to have a 6-year-old child that I am still cool enough to party til 2:40 AM like the people I babysat for last night. My sister-in-law’s cousins came to NYC with their daughter to see LCD Soundsystem’s farewell concert. While they were partying it up at MSG in their fun concert clothes (glitter, streaked hair, and sexy nurse outfit – I’m telling you, these are some hip young parents), I stayed with their daughter, Sophia, in the hotel. We watched movies, played games, and read books – this precocious little girl was virtually problem free…until it was dinner time.
Her parents warned she was a picky eater but I didn’t realize just how picky until we started getting hungry. Sophia is a vegetarian who eats pasta with butter and salt or maybe cheese pizza. New York is a city that caters to all types of eaters but the hotel was located on 30th and 6th – the middle of no-mans land. Room service had an hour-plus wait and the one promising nearby restaurant was closed. Her parents noticed that the area is a little sketchy and didn’t want Sophia walking around at night. I was looking for a neighborhood New York slice-type pizza joint but with the help of my phone’s Google Maps, I found something better – the one ray of sunshine in this otherwise dreary neighborhood: Waldy’s Wood-fired Pizza and Penne. I had never heard of it, but it is actually fancy chef Waldy Malouf (of Beacon)’s low-end restaurant.
At only a block and a half away, this was quite the find! It’s about the size of a normal neighborhood pizza joint but everything inside was so much better. Sophia wanted white pizza with olives so that’s exactly what we got (with a ceasar for me – Sophia the vegetarian doesn’t like salad so she did not partake). The pizza was of the crunchy flatbread variety, which Sophia was not used to but eventually found tasty enough. I already knew I liked this type of crust so I was happy, but I also thought the toppings were impressive. The cheese was a mozzarella/ricotta combo and the olives were a fresh mix like the kind you’d find on an antipasti platter. The ingredients were good, but I was most shocked to see the DIY herb station. There are pots of fresh herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme so you can jazz up your pizza or pasta. I have not seen this feature in any restaurant and certainly did not think the first place I would find it would be on this strip of 6th Avenue. Thanks to Waldy’s, I was able to satisfy a picky eater without compromising my own culinary desires. This small victory helped me forget I am nowhere near as cool as the parents I was babysitting for.
|Herbs on the right|