Like coffee and wine, pizza makes everything better. My first pizza experience was quite strange – a soggy triangular greasy thing served on a paper plate with a bottle of water wasn’t appetizing. I couldn’t get past the paper plate, and water paired with pizza was not a good combination.
Needless to say, my first pizza experience wasn’t a good one because I didn’t know how to effectively eat pizza (it is, after all, an art) and how to choose good pizza.
There isn’t a better feeling than a cardboard box being opened to reveal six perfect slices Or waiting in anticipation as I watch the wait-staff approach my table in slow motion with the perfect round pie.
A Restaurant’s atmosphere sets the stage for the perfect dining experience. Food, of course, takes center stage, while I and other guests become the audience. Artwork, lighting and the space creates comfort, intimacy or even romance.
A few days ago I walked into the perfect atmosphere. The low lighting gave the right touch of intimacy. The artwork though sparse added a lovely touch of creativity. And the music at the perfect volume somehow set a mood for the atmosphere. The space is raw with exposed brick throughout but is warmed by the beautiful tin ceiling.
Upon entering, the wood-burning oven glare caught my eyes and I am greeted by Mitchell. He was kind and welcoming. I was seated in the back at one of the tables, which gave me the opportunity to get a sense of the space and its audience. My dinner guest was late but that allowed me time to people watch.
Fornino is a pizza restaurant located in Greenpoint Brooklyn and is Owned by Chef Michael Ayoub. Fornino has been a staple in Brooklyn since 2004. Serving traditional and innovative gluten-free Italian-style pizza. This is not your average pizza spot and the menu offers a wide variety of options.
I ordered a glass of Prosecco and I observed. Many of the guests ordered salads before their pizzas. The Caesar, Kale, Arugula and Gem & Endvine were definitely crowd favorites.
Some of the pizza orders were:
1. (Fig, prosciutto, gorgonzola, mozzarella, arugula),
2. Copa E Kale (spicy Copa, stracciatella, truffle honey, pecorino),
3.Spinach (spinach, pine nuts, mozzarella, ricotta, pecorino, white truffle oil, parmesan)
(tomato, mozzarella, basil, olive oil, parmesan),
(sopressata piccante, tomato, mozzarella, parmesan, oregano)
(prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula, shaved parmesan, lemon)
(eggplant, tomato, mozzarella, ricotta, basil, parmesan)
Before my guest arrived I took time out to speak with many of the guests. Several of them were regulars while there were few newbies like myself. Everyone was enjoying their pizza – not many to-go boxes.
Scrumptious pizza, outstanding service, best pizza in Brooklyn, lovely atmosphere, the salad is to die for, perfection were some of the lovely comments I received from the kind guests. One southern lady who was visiting Brooklyn for the first time to attend a wedding said: “the best gash darn thing I’ve ever tasted and it melted in my mouth.”
I finally ordered and we decided to start with the eggplant parmesan. The thinly sliced eggplant topped with buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan fused together to create this beauty of a dish. It was very light and without a doubt one of the most luscious dishes I’ve ever had the privilege of experiencing.
I ordered the Al Roker, it came highly recommended by a few of the guests and Mitchell, while my guest decided on the Margherita Doc. Both were chewy, soft and pillowy. The Al Roker was a zesty choice, it satisfied my desire for something spicy with a piquant taste. And the Margherita although the ingredients were basic – it delivered a unique taste and flavor.
For dessert we chose a classic to share “Tiramasu” – the velvety texture of the cake used in the dessert was remarkable and made it a melt-in-your-mouth taste sensation.
With an abundance of choices for pizza in Brooklyn and everyone claiming to have the best pizza, choosing a pizza spot can be a challenge. The truth is there are only a few places that I’ve found which serves mouth-watering, tasty and delightful pizza.
Fornino falls within my top two places for the best pizza in Brooklyn. The menu is well-curated with a wine list to complement. The service is attentive and kind and the atmosphere feels warm.
If you fold your slice in half as my best friend does, or hold it with both hands like my daughter. Or use napkins to soak up the olive oil, or enjoy basking in the greasiness. Fornino is a “MUST VISIT” for pizza and for the experience.
To me, pizza is a blend of art, ingredients and historical traditions. Pizza these days are enjoyable with a glass of red wine or Pepsi. A knife and fork are my tools of choice and I decorate my pie beautifully with spices. I live for the first bite and I never eat the crust. Fornino pizza is on my list for a next visit (very soon) to enjoy their soulful pizza my way.
Every day 12-10 pm
Brunch Saturday and Sunday
FORNINO – GREENPOINT
849 Manhattan Ave Brooklyn, NY 11222
FORNINO – BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK
Pier 6 Brooklyn Bridge Park Brooklyn, NY 11201
WEEKENDS ONLY until the end of October
This visit was complimentary. Thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.