Saturday, October 28, 2023

The (Near) End of Momofuku & Seattle Pizza Guys


Bon Appetit - "David Chang’s Latest Momofuku Closure Marks the End of an Era"

"Opened in 2008 in New York City’s East Village, Ko was Chang’s third restaurant and his first dedicated to fine dining. “Ko looks to the future, ignoring the old rules and beckoning epicures open to new ones,” then Times critic Frank Bruni wrote in an early three-star review, which described the spare tasting menu spot as Chang’s “low-key coronation.” In 2009 the restaurant earned two Michelin stars, which it has retained ever since. Chang showed up to break the news of Ko’s closure at the October 24 staff meeting, according to employees. “There’s nothing the restaurant has done wrong,” he reportedly said. “I think part of it is ending things on a high note.” November 4 will mark Ko’s final dinner service.


He still operates restaurants, including numerous locations of Fuku, his fast food and concession stand fried chicken spot, but you’re more likely to see his name popping up these days in your podcast feed, on your TV, or at the grocery store."

Seattle Times - "How a Fremont pizzeria shook off a bad review and perfected its pies"

"They also thought that anyone would be able to make pizza dough from a recipe.

“I figured, this is a recipe and people can make a recipe like it’s a cookie,” Abbott said, recognizing that notion as naive in hindsight. “But what’s clear is there is some technique.”

So, a year into restaurant ownership, with Lupo’s contracts and finances in order, Abbott took on a role he never expected: He began studying pizza dough.

He read cookbooks, listened to podcasts and ate as much pizza as possible. He and Harcus took classes at Sea Wolf Bakers, watched YouTube videos on making and feeding sourdough starters, and took trips to New York, Portland and San Francisco to eat pizza. They went from mixing their own dough with imported Caputo flour and commercial yeast to creating their own sourdough base. They stopped buying imported ingredients, swapping for Ferndale Farmstead and Samish Bay Cheese mozzarella.

By October 2019, nearly all the Via Tribunali dishes were gone, and they had stopped paying for the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana certification. The neighborhood was still there, cheering them on.

“Once they started making the dough regularly, you could feel an immediate shift. It had more flavor and it just felt different,” Clopper said. “You could see it in their faces, more pride and excitement about it, too.”

McKenzie Smith is another neighborhood regular who has been going to Lupo since it opened. He said the pizza was always good, but “the second they implemented their own dough, it was a huge moment where we really noticed the pursuit of quality.”

“It really did change the pizza,” Smith said. “It was so much better afterwards.”"


"Hanin’s arrival presented Abbott and Harcus the opportunity to focus on a new pizza venture: Stevie’s Famous, the loosely New York-style spot they opened in Burien last November. It has been showered with praise; Seattle Times food writer Tan Vinh wrote that it has “pies that are on par with any top-tier Seattle slice shop anointed by the Yelp algorithm.”"

Seattle Times - "Restaurant review: This slice shop is worth a pizza pilgrimage to Burien"

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