Wild is a new pizza restaurant in the West Village that celebrates food in its pure, natural form. The artisanal pizzas served here are made with fresh, seasonal ingredients that “have been harvested with respect to their primitive state.” Not only is the pizza freshly made with wholesome ingredients, but the delicious signature crust is gluten-free and vegan friendly. Who knew letting loose at Wild could be so tasty and guilt-free?
The term wild might suggest a lower level of refinement, but this certainly isn’t the case at Wild, which is run by a highly seasoned staff to ensure smooth preparation and execution. Fearless entrepreneur and restaurateur Miki Agrawal describes the Wild concept as an elevation, in which all aspects of the restaurant operate at a high level. She’s enlisted the help of classically trained chef Nicholas Porcelli, who competed on the TV show Chopped, to bring a refined quality to the food, and she has also recruited staff members with blue-chip hospitality backgrounds for front-of-house operations. Even the whole Wild concept was the carefully cultivated brainchild of Zachary Lynd, a graduate of the School of Visual Arts with an impressive resume in branding. The ingredients may be wild, but the execution certainly is not.
Wild gives off a comfortable and casual vibe befitting of a neighborhood restaurant. The exposed brick and hanging lanterns of vintage bulbs and jars certainly emphasize the rustic, community aesthetic. The inclusive community spirit at Wild extends to its food options as well. Omnivores, vegans, vegetarians, celiacs–there’s something for everyone here. Can’t eat cheese? Order the amazing vegan version of the ricotta truffle pizza. Like meat but can’t tolerate gluten? Try a serving of the deliciously spicy, sweet capicola pie. No one gets left out in enjoying delicious food. I personally fell in love with the irresistible blend of sweet and savory flavors in the pear gorgonzola.
If you don’t feel like pizza, there are plenty of salads and vegetable dishes that are just as delicious. The brussel sprouts four ways was a personal favorite–dipping the lovely browned bits of charred leaves into a light layer of bacon crème freche was quite addicting. The butternut squash and whipped goat cheese was also delicious, and I enjoyed the nice, crunchy texture provided by the pistachios.
And of course, the company of good friends and great pizza should be enjoyed over some drinks. Philip Brock of Wild has carefully curated a drinks menu consisting of seasonal and local wine and beer selections, and also plans to introduce some inventive beer cocktails. I had a chance to try the ginger lemonade he mixed that day, a delightfully refreshing blend of muddled ginger, thyme and Witte, a wheat ale from upstate brewery Ommegang. The beer cocktail offerings should be very promising If this experimental ginger lemonade is any indicator. Wild also plans on launching Sangria Sundays as well as brunch service in the next three weeks. Brunch is such a treasured New York tradition, how perfect would it be to spend it sharing a pitcher of seasonal sangria with a delicious savory egg pizza?
When Max in Maurice Sendak’s childhood classic Where the Wild Things Are followed the monsters to their natural habitat, he embarked on a magical adventure that celebrated a community inclusive of all beasts. Wild guides diners on a similar journey in which people of all diets and palates can collectively appreciate the inventive creations put forth by Agrawal’s team.