What’s better than a casual restaurant where you can go with all your friends, no matter what they eat?
Woodstock Pizza Theater is just that place.
Chef Christopher is proud to tell you that “We probably have the largest vegan menu in all of New York State.” “We’re not a vegan restaurant and we have the biggest vegan menu” Where other vegan restaurants might have a dozen or so vegan offerings, they have about 45.
And he’s a chef that loves the challenge of cooking vegan. For him, it’s fun, “because there’s no set standard, that you’re trying to mimic. If you put something on that’s vegan pepperoni, people have a preconceived notion that it’s pepperoni, so when they taste it for the first time, they taste pepperoni.” “Most people are not born vegan, most converted over at some point in their life, so they all have that comfort food that they go to from their past, say maybe a cream sauce that I make with olive oil, flour and almond milk.” “I’ve had people say I thought I’d never have mushroom cream sauce pasta or vodka sauce again.”
One of the dishes he’s most proud of is a vegan chicken parmigiana that sells out every weekend. The secret? A vegan mozzarella that melts.
Even though he doesn’t consider the restaurant to be a pizzeria, he says “a lot of people come here for the pizza, a lot of people come here for the pizza, a lot of people come here for the vegan experience. I make all the vegan meat, I make the pepperoni, sausage, flank steak, and fried chicken”. “How is that possible ?” you may ask. The “meat” is made from a bunch of beans and grains, that is mixed with vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, and different seasonings.
Chef Christopher gave us a sampling of menu items to try. We started with Brussels Sprouts Gremolata. He poaches the spouts with slices of lemon and seasons them with the gremolata—garlic, parsley and olive oil and sends it out as a warm salad. It had a nice subtle taste from the lemon and gremolata and was a good-sized starter.
Next up was his cauliflower “wings”. This completely vegan dish was a star, as it was, a plate full of cauliflower that has been tossed in a batter similar to a tempura batter, but eggless. The golden-brown cauliflower nuggets were crispy and went well with the side of teriyaki dipping sauce to dip them in.
Lots of cheese in the sauce, made us realize why penne a la vodka is always such a favorite. Penne perfectly cooked, was coated (but not swimming) in a well-executed vodka sauce.
Finally, a classic pizza margherita, fresh from the wood-burning oven. We’d been admiring our neighbors’ twin pies (vegan with mushrooms) and now we had one of our own. The crust which is made from imported Italian GMO-free “00” milled flour was nicely browned, almost blackened, around the edges.
The pies are a work of art and in the first bite you can taste the quality of the ingredients that are being used, imported, D.O.P certified San Marzano tomatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Ramano cheeses and, of course, premium olive oil.
The menu at Woodstock Pizza Theater is large. There are lots of items to choose from on the menu, both vegan and non-vegan and everything is made from scratch. The restaurants has a full bar including a substantial selections of organic wines.
Throughout the summer there are people lined up out the door, so now is your chance to visit while the town is quieter. You’ll find it much easier to grab a table.
Woodstock Pizza Theater
138 Tinker Street, Woodstock NY
Open at 4:30 Wednesday through Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday.