Restaurants & Bars 5

Fornino

Steve R. | May 10, 2005 09:19 AM

Five of us went for dinner last night. For those of you who dont know, this is the pizza place in Williamsburg opened by Michael Ayoub, initial owner/chef of Cucina in Park Slope (when it was good). As an old regular of Cucina back when, I really wanted to see what he's up to here.

At any rate, the place is nicely done, although it was a smaller place than I expected. Great pizza oven and nice blown glass decorations. A very limited menu of pizzas and calzones but, within that, lots of choices. The wines were uniformly inexpensive ($19-25 range) and nice for the money. A good pairing for the menu served.

We shared the appetizer sampler ($15) which was enough for the 5 of us to get a good idea of the quality being used. Yellow and red tomatoes, mozz. balls, crostini, watercress, soppresata, goat cheese and fresh bread w/rosemary (from the pizza oven) were all quite good. Each of us had an individual pizza and all were enjoyed. Flavorful and well made. Mine ("siciliana") had lots of eggplant, olives, anchovies and onions on a good quality tomato base. One friend's pizza with clams and shrimp was pretty funny to look at, since the clams (a dozen of them) came in their shells on top of the pie. Both the clams and shrimp were very good, although it's not my idea of a pizza. My wife's "traditional" pie had very good cheese and sauce. For $9-12 apiece, these were all priced extremely fairly.

I like the place and will return whenever anyone else suggests it. As a matter of individual taste, I happen to like Savoia's pizzas and salads better but, as I said, I have no problems eating here as well. If anyone's comparing, I like both Savoia & Fornino's much better than Grimaldi's, but neither replaces the late Cristardi's (Cobble Hill) for me.

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