Poly Brings Table 87 Pizza to the Lunch Menu


Lucia Zaremba, Contributing Writer

Poly Prep has introduced Table 87 Coal Oven Pizza to its lunch menu this school year. According to the Veracross Lunch Menu, this option is available every Tuesday and Thursday. 

Many students are celebrating this new addition. However, many are also curious about how the pizza came to Poly. What are the logistics behind bringing pizza to lunch at Poly? Is it made fresh on campus? What inspired this addition to the lunch menu? Is it here to stay? 

Table 87 is a Brooklyn-based pizza company with locations in Brooklyn Heights, Gowanus, and Industry City. According to the Table 87 website, Table 87 is the first pizzeria in Brooklyn to offer frozen, single-serve, coal-fired slices.

In a New York Times article by Leah Finnegan from 2021, Table 87 owner Thomas Cucco claimed “his frozen pizza is superior to others due to a technique that cooks it for two minutes and then flash-freezes it.”

The Table 87 website states that “fully cooked pizza is flash frozen and placed in vacuum sealed packaging to prevent ice crystallization,” and that it “goes from freezer to plate in minutes.” Anyone who has tried a frozen pizza from the supermarket may be skeptical that such a technique could be so effective, but Table 87 looks to change that assumption.

In order to reheat the pizza, Poly recently added a Table 87 pizza oven which has different settings for a variety of pizzas and crusts, as well as signage and branding around that area to represent this new relationship between Table 87 and the Poly community.  The pizza oven is currently placed right behind the counter which the pizza is served on. A black sign which reads “We proudly serve Table 87” is over the oven for students to see. 

Poly gets about 15 boxes of pizza per delivery. The pizza is then warmed up in the pizza oven on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There are about 12 slices per pie, and students are served 1 or 2 slices per plate, depending on their preference. 

Chef Lou Rossini and Assistant Head of School for Strategic Initiatives Rebekah Sollitto  were given the task of introducing new menu concepts and re-imagining food at Poly this school year. Bill McNally, Poly’s Sports Information Director, reached out to the Table 87 family, and began the process, eventually leading to this new addition to the Poly menu, according to Sollitto.

“A fun part of Brooklyn’s identity is the amazing history of being the world’s best place to eat pizza,” Sollitto said.

Table 87 brings more to Poly than simply feeding students. Its introduction represents a new age of food at Poly; one that caters to the desires and stomachs of Poly students. 

Audrius Barzukas, head of school, says, “This idea [is] about making a school fun, exciting, engaging, and being more creative with our food offerings.” Barzdukas and the Poly administration are trying to add more diversity to the food choices. Being an outside food source is what makes Table 87 unique to Poly’s menu, and emphasizes Barzdukas’ idea of “more creative” food options.

Table 87 has rolled out to mostly positive reviews. “It is exciting to have more lunch options and the Table 87 pizza has definitely changed the lunch game at Poly,” says sophomore Gordon Hoffman, in an opinion echoed by many on campus. However, some criticism is par for the course in any type of food establishment; including a campus cafeteria. “It was good for the first week, then it slowly started getting too repetitive,” says sophomore Aishwarya Malhorta. 

Those who are fans of Table 87, however, should not fear its removal. “I see the future of Table 87 at Poly growing,” says Sollitto.