Having only ever experienced California Pizza Kitchen via their pizzas in the frozen food aisle, I was more than intrigued when I was invited to experience their (currently, only) NYC location. Located on 30th and Park, it’s definitely an ideal space. Upon entry I was immediately taken with the decor – it’s very open, while also being very inviting. I can easily see having lunch with friends or dinner with coworkers here. Now it’s time to prepare yourself for food overload – don’t say I didn’t warn you! 😉
In time for their 30th anniversary, California Pizza Kitchen has recently added some exciting new items to their repertoire as a part of their Next Chapter menu. While known primarily for their pizzas, CPK offers a plethora of other meal options that are absolutely not to be missed. My guests (crazy food lovers that they are) and I were able to try quite a few of these. To start off we had their Maine Lobster Flatbread – the lobster salad itself was creamy and involved generous portions of lobster meat, while the flatbread provided a buttery and crunchy contrast. After tasting that we kind of figured things could only go uphill from there, and we were right.
We ordered their new Fresh Strawberry Mango Cooler – which is non-alcoholic and ridiculously delicious and refreshing – it was so good that I would go back for it alone. But we also got to try their Seasonal Harvest Sangria, Blueberry Ginger Smash, and California Crush – which were all amazing. CPK’s drinks are definitely all on point.
Next we had their Crispy Thin Crust Pear & Gorgonzola Pizza, Chicken Tequila Fettucine, and their new Hearth Roasted Halibut – wild caught Alaskan Halibut roasted on a cedar plank with grilled asparagus, butternut squash, farro, and baby kale. The Halibut was so tender, it really tasted as if it was cooked sous vide because it was so perfectly done. The same goes for the pasta – as someone with Italian roots and who loves to cook, I abhor overcooked pasta – but my fettucine was full of flavor and perfectly al dente.
We also tried their new seasonally inspired Roasted Chicken + Seasonal Vegetables – deliciously crispy-skin chicken breast in lemon garlic sauce with roasted vegetables and mediterranean herbs. It’s actually my favorite item on the CPK menu now – the chicken was tender, had a crunchy exterior and the vegetables were sweet and buttery. We also tried some of their signature pizzas, the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza and the Jamaican Jerk Chicken.
Not quite finished, we also had their new Fire-Grilled Rib Eye which is 12oz of USDA choice ribeye grilled with housemade Pinot Noir sea salt and topped with creamy bleu cheese butter and served with roasted fingerling potatoes and lemon-garlic wild arugula salad. I’m a massive steak fan, and I have to say it was pretty epic – it had that excellent fire-grilled flavor and was ideally cooked (and served, I might add). Our last main course was the Cedar Plank Salmon – North Atlantic salmon roasted on a cedar plank in an hearth oven with smoked paprika and lime and served with white corn & spinach succotash and topped with Feta. Also another winner – I loved that CPK has such a great variety. If you’re looking for chicken, steak, fish, pizza or veggies – they have it!
For dessert, we ordered Key Lime Pie and at the recommendation of CPK Marketing Manager Brandon, we tried the popular Butter Cake. Oh my goodness, that butter cake. I don’t think my guests have stopped talking about that cake yet. In fact, I don’t think I’ve stopped talking about that Butter Cake. It’s pretty much like the most ideal dessert ever – it’s buttery, it’s sweet, it’s creamy and oh boy, well, you just have to have it. Trust me.
If you haven’t yet stopped by a CPK then definitely do, and if you’re in the city I definitely recommend that you stop by our California Pizza Kitchen and give their New Chapter menu items a try. To check out their New Chapter menu and to find a CPK near you click here, also be sure to follow California Pizza Kitchen on twitter & facebook to stay updated on their newest promotions and menu items!
*Thank you California Pizza Kitchen for such an amazing experience – we can’t wait to return!*