Friday, January 6, 2012

Pizza and the unexpected at Forcella

On Thursday night, Emily, Kerry, Michelle and I had dinner at Forcella's new location on Bowery.  I had recently tried to lunch at the pizza joint's original location in Brooklyn only to arrive and find out that they don't do lunch in Brooklyn.  I have read several reviews of Forcella and its specialty fried pizzas lately and have heard mostly good things, so I wasn't surprised to arrive to find the restaurant crowded with full tables and bar space. We had a reservation so our table was ready immediately and we were unknowingly greeted and seated by owner and pizza expert Giulio Adriani.  We decided to order communally and share everything between the table and went with the Positano salad (thinking it was a pizza,) and the Materdei, Decumani and the fried Montanara pizzas.
The salad came and we were surprised because we thought we ordered a salad pizza but that could be the result of chugging Strongbow before ordering.  The arugula was fresh and had a nice, light amount of oil.  The cheese and meat were salty and delicious;  the whole combo worked really well and it was a good size for four people to share.  A few minutes after the salad came, a dish of meatballs arrived at the table.  After the salad confusion the meatball appearance was even more mysterious, to us and to the waiter when we asked him.  Anyway he told us to keep them and they were nice, but the sauce was very salty.  I'm not a big meatball eater but I know how loyal meatball eaters are and one at our table didn't love these.  They were nice to pick on for free though!
We tried to order a pizza from each category: rosse, bianche and fritte.  Of the rosse we ordered the Materdei, a margherita pizza with hot salami.  All of the pizzas had the same fluffy and lightly charred crust.  It was nice to have one pizza with meat but it didn't stand out as my favorite.  We ordered the popular Montanara fried pizza, below, which was a margherita pie supposedly lightly fried before it was baked.  We had trouble deciphering any difference in the crust from the other two pies, and we wondered if we received the Montanara or just a regular margherita pie on accident.  We didn't ask, and we may never know.
My favorite of the three pies was the Decumani.  The waiter recommended it as his favorite white pie with homemade mozzarella, truffle, arugula and pecorino.  The truffle was fragrant but not overpowering and was a nice additional flavor.  The only problem we found was that we weren't able to eat the pizzas fast enough and by the time we each tried a slice of each, they were no longer hot and the cheese had settled. 
Overall it was a very salty meal but we were all pleased, full and content with the price tag.  Each pie was between 10$ and $16 and the bottle of wine around $30 but split four ways the bill was not unreasonable.  I would return to Forcella and try all different pies, there are so many interesting combinations on the menu.  The service was a little screwy and we had a bit of a wait to order our food, but the place was busy and the ambiance was nice so we didn't mind waiting.  It was nice not to be rushed -- we sat at our table until around 11pm.  I will remember Forcella as a consistent place to get a pie and some drinks next time I'm looking for something easy and reasonably priced.

Forcella: 334 Bowery St., between 3rd and 2nd Streets.  (212) 466-3300
Forcella on Urbanspoon

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