187 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Cuisine: Gourmet/Brick Oven Pizza
Our Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Cards: All Major
Hours: Sun-Thu, noon-11pm; Fri-Sat, noon-midnight
Booze: Beer and Wine Only
Subway: L to Bedford Ave.
Menu: Click Here
Pizza for the next generation: Fantastic Williamsburg pizzeria pays homage to the classics while adding a few twists of its own. The glow from the restaurant’s wood-burning oven carries a warm welcome to the unpretentious neighborhood crowd. The narrow front room lined with wooden tables opens into an indoor/outdoor back dining room, overlooking potted herbs that top the pies. Unfortunately, the uninformed service doesn’t honor the carefully selected ingredients (organic flour, artisanal cheese and local produce). Though pizza reigns supreme, the starter of clams baked in a tangy broth of capers, lemon, garlic and herbs is a lovely diversion. Generous toppings grace the more than 20 pies, organized by first, second and third generation. Even on the classic, normally spare, margherita, the rich mozzarella nearly overpowers the sweet tomato sauce; yet the richness is addicting. The thin crust, charred black around the edges, adds a smokey dimension, which pulls together the oddball Salsiccia Di Agnello, with lamb sausage, two cheeses and pistachios. Save room for the light tiramisu.
TAGS: Bedford, Fairly Cheap, Garden/Outdoor Seating, Italian, Pizza, Recommended, Restaurants, ★★★★ Great
Fornino is a somewhat recent addition to the artisanal pizza scene, having opened in October 2004, and it’s not to be missed. Rare are the pizzas that have no flaws, but this may be one of them. The light buffalo mozzarella on our Margherita was dreamy, and the standard mozzarella wasn’t far behind. The sauce was bright and tasty with a perfect balance: not too spicy, not too tangy. Even the crust, the most difficult part to master, was superb: very thin, with no sag. The gas-assisted wood-fired oven produced a surprisingly respectable char on the crust, cooked evenly across both pies we ordered. If you enjoy Nick’s Pizza in Forest Hills, a Slice favorite, you’ll love Fornino. Nick’s is considerably less experimental, as Fornino offers a menu filled with sometimes offbeat toppings: soppressata, goat cheese, and portobello mushrooms are among the Fornino varieties. Our second pie had eggplant, anchovies, and black olives. The consensus was positive, but the standard Margherita was superior to a degree that an otherwise worthy topping can only weaken it.