Some four years ago master baker Jim Lahey brought first-rate pizzas (and pretty decent salads) to an otherwise nondescript stretch of Ninth Avenue in Chelsea with the always fun and satisfying Co., which you should pronounce in its unabbreviated form as “Company”, because Co. always just sounds kind of odd when you say it and it can confuse people into thinking you’re talking about Ko, David Chang’s high-end spot in the East Village.
Anyway, for too many months the storefront right next door to Co. had been covered with paper and the promise that Lahey would be opening a branch of his adored Sullivan Street Bakery sometime soon. And then, over the summer, it happened… and residents of Chelsea, as well as everyone who frequents the galleries in the area, which’d definitely include me, are rejoicing.
Take-out or Eat-in at the New Sullivan Street Bakery on Ninth Avenue
The new Chelsea Sullivan Street Bakery is friendly and comfortable, with a long display/seating counter on your right, an open kitchen in the back, tables to your left, all cleanly designed and with just the right amount of attitude to give the place some character; for example, in a nod to the arty neighborhood, there’s a burnt loaf of bread on a pedestal, spot-lit, with the sign “For Display Only”.
The Chelsea Sullivan Street Bakery menu has a ton of terrific options, both for taking home (there are lots of loaves, including Sourdough Pullman, Ciabatta, a baguette-ish Stirato, etc); and, after ordering at the counter, eating right away, both sweet and savory (paninis! pizza! bombolonis!), with coffee, tea, wine or beer.
Menu Highlights at the Sullivan Street Bakery in Chelsea
And how’s it all taste, here at the Sullivan Street Bakery in Chelsea? In a word: great. I’ve sampled and loved Lahey’s baked creations for years, but in my most recent visit to this new outpost, a wonderfully welcome refueling stop after an afternoon of gallery going, I made short work of a number of excellent items.
For instance, my crisp-crusted, rectangularly sliced Cavolfiore Pizza, loaded up cauliflower, parmesan, olive, and chili for some kick, was terrific. My Proscuitto Bread, nice and chewy, with great funky depth, also good. And my sweet-savory combo selection, a crunchy flatbread topped with champagne grapes, anise seed, olive oil and sea salt, hit all the right notes, and will be difficult to not order the next time I’m there. Which, assuredly, will be soon.
The Chelsea Sullivan Street Bakery is located on Ninth Avenue between 24th and 25th Streets, and is open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. More info on their website.