Stretch Pizza by NYC Chef Wylie Dufresne packs creative style | Neighborhood Eats

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, March 20, 2024
Stretch Pizza in NYC packs creative style
Dani Beckstrom joined Chef Wylie Dufresne to make some pizzas.

FLATIRON DISTRICT, Manhattan (WABC) -- Everything Bagel Pizza anyone? New York City Chef Wylie Dufresne found himself doing what many of us did while isolating during the pandemic, he made pizza!

He fell in love with it and is bringing his signature, creative style to his new venture, Stretch Pizza.

It's located in the Flatiron District of Manhattan at 331 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010.

Dufresne said he tries to stay true to what pizza fans love about New York style pies, but offers a bit of adventure as well.

"I grew up in New York, eating New York style pizza and there's always a red pie and a white pie and when we were thinking of the menu I thought what can we do for our white pie? And the idea of cream cheese, bagel, it felt like a fun twist on the classic white pie which I love," Dufresne said.

For the pizza they use low-moisture mozzarella cheese and a special cream cheese blended with a bit of milk and a little bit of lactic acid.

Stretch Pizza also makes their own everything bagel seasoning complete with onion flakes, garlic flakes, sesame seeds, white sesame, black sesame and poppy seeds.

"I got into pizza during the pandemic. I was stuck at home with my wife, our kids and a couple other folks and I started making pizza and it kind stuck, I got the bug," Dufresne said.

I got into pizza during the pandemic. I was stuck at home with my wife, our kids and a couple other folks and I started making pizza and it kind stuck, I got the bug.
Wylie Dufresne, Chef

He hadn't opened a restaurant or been involved with one in seven years when he decided to give it a go.

"I was excited to get back in the restaurant business, I missed hospitality, I missed doing this. I missed the team, I missed feeding people, every aspect of it. I love restaurants so much," Dufresne said.

He just hoped that customers would respond to his ideas.

"New York is a pizza town, but I felt there was room for our idea, we had a great idea. We still think there's room for people to come and have fun things like a potato chip salad, pull apart meatball slider," he said.

I felt there was room for our idea, we had a great idea.
Wylie Dufresne, Chef

Eyewitness News tried out the everything bagel pizza.

"So it's kind of fun right, it's creamy, it's crunchy, it's got all those toasty notes," Dufresne said.

"So good, and also very nostalgic in a way. And, I love that you're bringing in another creative idea," Eyewitness News' Dani Beckstrom said.

"The Cuban sandwich, obviously not invented in New York but something you find, any good deli will make you a proper Cuban," he said. "It's pickles, it's roast pork, sliced ham and a garlic mustard cream we put on here and then we bake it."

There's also a unique art installation involving pizza boxes inside the restaurant.

"There's a gentleman by the name of Scott Weiner who is sort of a national treasure on the subject of pizza, he knows more about pizza and pizzerias and pizza history than kind of anybody. He also happens to have the world's largest collection of pizza boxes, he has over 1,700 pizza boxes," Dufresne said. "So he came and worked with some other great people to create that installation. We can put different ones up at different times of the year, different seasons, different occasions, it's really fun, he's got an amazing collection."

If you are after something sweet, there are two choices for dessert: Soft-serve ice cream and tiny chocolate chip cookies.

"We have the world's tiniest chocolate chip cookies, you could make the world's tiniest ice cream sandwich, you can eat them separately," Dufresne said. "Your experience when dining out at a place like this should be fun, it's not serious, it's meant to be delicious, it's meant to be approachable, but it's meant to be fun."

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