New York is the best food city in the world. Ryan Gaudin and I just got inspired there toward a pizzeria we’re opening here in Denver. What a trip. If I could cook a restaurant using ingredients from that one night in The City, here’s what I’d incorporate: The energy from Balthazar—probably my favorite that Friday–absolutely hopping at 5:45, buzzing with the after work crowd and bar-intendeds warming up for the night. I was impressed by the attentive service (completely unpretentious for such a gorgeous dining room) and all four items we ordered were spot-on. Cured meats the way they’re made at Otto—great flavors housed in cool design. Extensive wines and rustic beauty of Enoteca (I liked their price points, too—very approachable). Danielle’s service—good old reliable perfection. I’m continually impressed by the caliber of our staff at Luca and Mizuna—but wouldn’t it be great to have that kind of service, that quality artisan food—at a pizza joint? Or a wine list as varied and eclectic—but with every bottle between $25 and $50? What if we could serve sandwiches with real meats from real animals roasted over a real fire? Or if we had cheeses with texture and flavor and crusty, rustic house made bread? We’re about to dive in deep, me and Ryan and Philippe Failyau. Work a hundred hours a week and spend another hundred with our families and try not to lose our friendship or work ethic or every penny or ounce of sanity in the process. All for a pizza joint. But won’t it be great if we can pull it off?