After &pizza’s plan to open a branch in Harvard Square was denied by the Cambridge Zoning Board of Appeals, they’ve decided to sweeten the deal: The company just announced they’ve teamed up with Christina Tosi, a two-time James Beard Award winner and the culinary genius behind the acclaimed Milk Bar, of Momofuku fame, on a joint plan for an iconic building at Mass. Ave. and Brattle Street.
“We’ve listened to the community and heard loud and clear that they’re looking for more than just another pizza shop—they want a neighborhood partner,” says &pizza cofounder and CEO Michael Lastoria. “&pizza stands for connection, inclusion and unity, and joining forces with Milk Bar is a perfect example of how we will bring those values directly to Cambridge.”
Tosi, who joined the judging panel on Fox’s MasterChef and MasterChef Junior in 2015, was the first person to bring desserts of any kind to David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants in New York City. The celebrity chef originally hired her to write a company food safety plan, but was impressed with her skills and allowed her to create a pastry program for his New York City-based restaurant group. In 2008, the first brick-and-mortar offshoot opened in the East Village, and now Milk Bar has 12 locations in NYC, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas.
Milk Bar is an O.G. in the world of playful pastry, with Tosi creating now-iconic, trademarked treats like her “naked” cakes, crack pie, a “compost cookie,” with pretzels, potato chips, coffee, and more chunks baked in; and Cereal Milk ice cream.
“The restaurants and cafes in Harvard Square help fuel some of the most brilliant and innovative minds in the world, and I’m so excited for Milk Bar to be part of this community,” Tosi said in a statement.
An innovative Washington, D.C.-based fast-casual chain, &pizza makes oblong pies with non-GMO produce and local products when possible. It has 22 locations in the Mid-Atlantic region, including a new NYC outpost.
In June, the Cambridge ZBA nixed &pizza’s original proposal to move into the former Crimson Corner, “citing a superfluity of pizza restaurants already in the neighborhood,” the Harvard Crimson reported.
Stay tuned for more details on &pizza and Milk Bar’s joint proposal—and for what the City of Cambridge will say about it.
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