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Forno Rosso Pizzeria Napoletana - excellent wood fired pizza

Forno Rosso Pizzeria Napoletana - excellent wood fired pizza
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  • Forno Rosso Pizzeria Napoletana - excellent wood fired pizza

    Post #1 - September 28th, 2013, 8:30 am
    Post #1 - September 28th, 2013, 8:30 am Post #1 - September 28th, 2013, 8:30 am
    This place popped up on my radar yesterday when planning a lunch to Pizzeria Da Nella Cucina Napoletana. I know Spacca and (I assume, though I've never been) Nella put out a great Neapolitan pie...but I love the underdog and always want to check out the unknown/new spot in town - so I changed my lunch route from Lincoln Park to Dunning (as far North and West as you can go and still be technically in Chicago)...

    As we walked in, the film crew from ABC and Dolinksy were just finishing up a shoot - so good for these guys, they're about to be quite a bit busier than they have been; though the owner's childhood buddy and Chicago cop (that was working the joint while we dined) said they are full for dinner service almost every night.

    The space is clean, well-built, very modern and clean; it's quite unexpected due to its location (in a strip mall next to the usual strip mall tenants: liquor store, cleaner, etc.).
    Image

    The kitchen is open, and you see the beautifully tiled wood-burning pizza oven fired to 1000 degrees.
    Image

    They have a full bar, which was nothing special - I had a peroni and my wife had some prosecco. They have a few decent beers and wines, but again - nothing special on the bar menu.

    On to the main event: The pizza. We especially wanted to try 4 pies - but it was just me and the mrs., so we decided on 2 -

    Rosso Diavolo
    tomato sauce, , fresh mozzarella hot soppressata , crushed red peppers
    Image
    and
    Locale
    tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella sausage made by local butcher for Forno Rosso, organic mushrooms
    Image

    Both were excellent, I liked the Rosso Diavolo a bit more (due to my love of spicy cured italian meats). The heat level of the Soppressata was PERFECT. It was spicy, but the spice didn't linger and you could move on to the next bite.

    The crust on this pie is perfect for this style of pizza - chewy, charred, and (uniquely) a little salty. I loved the saltiness in Forno Rosso's pizza crust, it made chewing on the edges (sans toppings) a treat in and of itself.

    Image

    Eating 1 spicy (ish) pie, and the other being rich in herbs, sausage, and mushrooms - it was a great balance to go back and forth between the pies. We easily finished the Diavolo - it was the kind of pie I could have eaten all afternoon - and took home 1/2 of the Locale - which I gladly enjoyed after my dinner shift at Rubs...

    After devouring our pies, the owner's childhood buddy and Chicago cop chatted us up for awhile. He hangs out there when he's not on duty - and was a great host for the restaurant. He talked us in to trying a Banana Nutella pizza for dessert - which was totally unnecessary for our lack of hunger, but we went for it anyways.

    Image
    The Banana Nutella pizza is a great idea, using the same crust he uses for pizza - spreading delicious Hazelnut Chocolate and banana filling between 2 pie crusts - hot in the pizza oven for a minute, then dusted lightly with powdered sugar. This was absolutely delicious, we had a slice there and took the rest home for the kids.

    It was a super long drive, especially if you do it during rush hour - we travelled in the afternoon around 3pm, and it was a haul. Driving west all the way to Harlem takes FOREVER - but this is irrelevant is you live in the suburbs or further west than I do (which is geographically certain as I live 100 yards from the lake in E. Rogers Park).

    That being said, I'll make the drive again gladly - as it was a superb meal, nice space, and a definite new player in the city's best Neapolitan-Style Pizzerias.

    Forno Rosso Pizzeria Napoletana
    3719 N Harlem Ave
    Chicago, IL
    I love comfortable food, and comfortable restaurants.
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  • Post #2 - September 28th, 2013, 11:44 am
    Post #2 - September 28th, 2013, 11:44 am Post #2 - September 28th, 2013, 11:44 am
    Maybe a long drive from the city, but it looks like a good option for those looking near O'Hare. Thanks for the heads up on this place.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #3 - September 28th, 2013, 1:43 pm
    Post #3 - September 28th, 2013, 1:43 pm Post #3 - September 28th, 2013, 1:43 pm
    That is some mighty fine looking pizza. How can I resist the Banana Nutella Pizza?. Their oven is beautiful also. I will have to try the place the next time I make a trip out to Riviera. Harwood heights is full of pleasant surprises. That stretch of Harlem especially has some very noteworthy spots (besides Riviera grocery). Bellezza Gelato up the street a ways is my favorite gelato vendor in the city. I usually stop there when I am in the area. I know what you mean about it being a tough drive from RP. It is not that far, but the traffic is a killer. I have made the trip many times (I had a client in the area). I take Pratt to Kedzie to Devon to Nagle to Forest Preserve to Harlem (or Nagle to Belmont), a little convoluted, but much faster.
  • Post #4 - September 29th, 2013, 5:11 am
    Post #4 - September 29th, 2013, 5:11 am Post #4 - September 29th, 2013, 5:11 am
    d4v3 wrote: I take Pratt to Kedzie to Devon to Nagle to Forest Preserve to Harlem (or Nagle to Belmont), a little convoluted, but much faster.


    That's a good route, but a little clarification needed. Nagle actually turns into Narraganset somewhere along there. And you actually have to turn at Montrose, which then sort of turns into Forest Preserve.
  • Post #5 - September 29th, 2013, 3:15 pm
    Post #5 - September 29th, 2013, 3:15 pm Post #5 - September 29th, 2013, 3:15 pm
    midas wrote:And you actually have to turn at Montrose, which then sort of turns into Forest Preserve.
    Thanks for the clarification. I would hate to send somebody looking for an intersection that doesn't really exist. Yeah it is Montrose that you turn right on. A few blocks along, Montrose turns into a side street while most traffic bears to the left onto Forest Preserve. As long as you turn onto Montrose and follow the herd, you'll be OK.
  • Post #6 - October 1st, 2013, 12:20 pm
    Post #6 - October 1st, 2013, 12:20 pm Post #6 - October 1st, 2013, 12:20 pm
    That pizza indeed looks wonderful. And the red-tiled oven is gorgeous. But the goddamn televisions. Is there a place that isn't a hipster-hole or super-high dining in Chicago that doesn't have goddamn TVs blaring at all times? I know I sound terribly pompous and/or contrarian here, but one of the great things about NYC is the near-lack of TVs in dining establishments. But I suppose NYC is just a giant hipster hole at this point anyway, so maybe I'm just splitting hairs.

    Chicago...the slow march toward becoming the Tucson, AZ of the great Northern Cities.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #7 - October 12th, 2013, 2:08 pm
    Post #7 - October 12th, 2013, 2:08 pm Post #7 - October 12th, 2013, 2:08 pm
    Image

    Remembering rubbbqco's post with the picture of the beautiful red pizza oven made it an easy decision to join a friend for lunch at Forno Rosso. Owner Nick Nitti is dead serious about his pizza and the quality of the ingredients that he uses throughout the entire menu. Nick is an old school guy who grew up in the neighborhood within eye shot of the restaurant and sources many of his ingredients directly from Italy or from shops in the neighborhood.

    Image

    We started with an appetizer of burrata which the restaurant flies in from Italy twice a week.

    Forno Rosso Burrata Appetiser
    Image

    Pizzas are cooked in this beautiful red brick oven (forno rosso), which was built in Italy then brought over and installed here.

    Forno Rosso
    Image

    The pizza section of the menu is divided into both a red (Rosse) and a white (Bianche) section. From the red section, we chose a Rosso Diavolo.

    Forno Rosso Rosso Diavolo
    Image
    tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, hot soppressata and crushed red pepper

    And from the white section, we chose a Barese

    Forno Rosso Barese
    Image
    rapini, sausage (locally made) & burrata

    Both pizzas were outstanding and made to VPN standards, with a slightly wet center, which is characteristic of the style. The crust was beautiful and great tasting. It's all about the bread! I'm not the greatest authority on Neopolitan pizza, but I did like this version a lot. I'd be curious to hear the opinions of some of the aficionados of the style. I think what Nick is doing is right up there with the best examples in the city.

    Image

    Pizzas are definitely the stars at Forno Rosso, but the appetizers shouldn't be overlooked, either. Besides the burrata, the house sent out a small sample of West Loop Salumi Coppa for us to try. This coppa is one of the items on the Salumi Misti, which I will certainly be trying on my next visit.

    West Loop Salumi Coppa
    Image

    Although Forno Rosso may seem like a long hike to those who live in certain neighborhoods, to those of us living on the Northwest side, it's a very welcome local addition, and one I'll be visiting often.

    Forno Rosso
    3719 N. Harlem Ave
    Chicago, IL 60634
    773-295-5697
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - November 21st, 2013, 5:38 pm
    Post #8 - November 21st, 2013, 5:38 pm Post #8 - November 21st, 2013, 5:38 pm
    We stopped in last night, as we recently moved my mom-in-law to a retirement community on the Northwest side, and I was impressed by the pizza at Forno Rosso.

    Three of us ordered a pizza each, and truthfully, with two light eaters, two pizzas would have been sufficient, but I'm glad I had a chance to sample all three.

    I highly recommend the cappricciosa (tomato sauce, artichokes, olives, mushrooms, prosciutto and mozzarella); this was a flavorful, meaty, satisfying pizza. The crust was as good as I've had, with a nice hint of salt, and a really yeasty tang to it, lacking the sweetness that ruins many American attempts to duplicate Neapolitan pizza. The locale (tomato, mozzarella, sausage and mushroom) was also excellent; the sausage was perfectly spiced with a nice balance of sage and fennel, but not overbearing on any herb. Our least adventurous eater ordered the margherita, and it was pretty good too. As others in this thread have mentioned, all the pizza is made in a glorious wood burning oven made in Napoli, Italy (Naples to us English speakers!) It is quite impressive, and the owners and staff are justifiably proud of it.

    We shared a toscana salad (pear and gorgonzola over spring greens with walnuts) and it was really fresh and tasty too. I wish I'd tried the caponata, but I'll just try it the next time I visit.

    This is the first time ever I tried a place that Steve Dolinsky featured, and I'm surprised to say that it exceeded my high expectations. Service was outstanding, attentive but not intrusive, and best of all, draft moretti for $5.00 was a real treat.

    I'll be back!
  • Post #9 - December 1st, 2013, 10:48 am
    Post #9 - December 1st, 2013, 10:48 am Post #9 - December 1st, 2013, 10:48 am
    I got a text from a friend on a recent weekday night: “Just had dinner at Forno Rosso on Harlem just north of Addison – nick, owner, trained in Sorrento to learn pizza.”

    Inspired by that text and the above posts, I called. Nick at first seemed to be saying that Oak Park was too far south for delivery. Then he relented. He said, “Okay, I won’t cut it so you can put it right in the oven, no problem. Now, preheat the oven to around 550. When the pizza gets there, throw it in.”

    On my friend’s rec, we went with Bianche Barese, which is a white, no tomato sauce pizza, with some rapini and “sausage made special by local butcher.”

    I asked Nick to pick one more pizza for us, and he selected Rosso Diavolo, which we liked a lot, peppery and fresh-tasting.

    Image

    One big challenge, which Nick pointed out pretty much the moment I suggested delivery, is that the delicate crust deteriorates when transported more than a few minutes. Our pies had to spend probably 20 or more minutes on the cold ride from North Harlem.

    Still, the crust was flavorful, though thicker than what you might find in Naples or at Chicago’s many Neapolitan pizza places…and a thicker crust might actually hold up better for delivery. Oddly, what Forno Rosso’s pie compelled me to appreciate was Domino’s – though lacking in flavor and personality, Domino's mass-appeal pies have the advantage of being thick and dense, with a kind of gluiness that seems engineered to taste pretty much the same whether 3 or 30 minutes out of the oven.

    No doubt, though I was grateful to have the Forno Rosso pie brought to my door, it probably did lose something in transit…and the best way to enjoy these pies is to actually visit Forno Rosso, as everyone else in this thread had the good sense to do.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #10 - December 2nd, 2013, 12:26 am
    Post #10 - December 2nd, 2013, 12:26 am Post #10 - December 2nd, 2013, 12:26 am
    David Hammond wrote:No doubt, though I was grateful to have the Forno Rosso pie brought to my door, it probably did lose something in transit…and the best way to enjoy these pies is to actually visit Forno Rosso, as everyone else in this thread had the good sense to do.
    According to the VPN rules, as soon as a pizza leaves the pizzeria, it is no longer considered a true Neopolitan pizza. That makes it impossible to carry-out or deliver a VPN pizza.
  • Post #11 - December 3rd, 2013, 2:47 pm
    Post #11 - December 3rd, 2013, 2:47 pm Post #11 - December 3rd, 2013, 2:47 pm
    Having moved to Portage Park 2.5 months ago from Edgewater, I've been looking for good food NW. I've been to Forno Rosso twice, and I have been very happy both times. Personally, I like their crust better than Spacca Napoli's, and I'd say it's the best crust I've had since Great Lake.

    Last time I was there I had a Prosiutto e Arugola (having had to try the Locale last time, because you have to try the sausage first). The white pizza was balanced by having more cheese than the red, which held the pie together. The crust was perfect as usual, and the prosciutto was thinly sliced and perfectly balanced.

    In addition, been making my way through the appetizers. We had the Toscana salad last time, which was very good, and this time we went with a focaccia which was basically just the pizza crust with oregano, olive oil, and salt. I could have eaten that by itself. Saved room for dessert the last time and had the Tortufo, which reminded me of the old school tortoni cups I used to get from Fontana di Trevi in Highwood. More cocoa in the Tortufo, but definite rum/hazelnut flavor that was really good.

    Nick has also come out to talk to us individually both times, and he brought us a taste of another antipasti the first time which I cannot for the life of me remember what it was. Something with onions, balsamic...very good. It has definitely made my regular list after a few trips out there. I echo Stevez's sentiments...it's a welcome addition.

    I will say this about delivery: I can see how it wouldn't work, but my leftovers have reheated in the toaster oven very nicely. As with good pasta, I am always worried about reheating, but these have done well.
  • Post #12 - December 12th, 2013, 9:41 am
    Post #12 - December 12th, 2013, 9:41 am Post #12 - December 12th, 2013, 9:41 am
    Katie wrote:Maybe a long drive from the city, but it looks like a good option for those looking near O'Hare.
    yes it is, a relatively quick drive for me from Des Plaines.

    I went yesterday afternoon in the no man's time of 3pm. I was one of 3 people total in the place. Owner Nick came out, we chatted about the pizza & my recent trip to Naples/Amalfi Coast/Paestum. He was quite proud (as he should be) of being only 1 of 3 places in Chicagoland that is certified by VPN or the American Delegation of the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana. the other two places are Spacca Napoli and Parker's in Downer's Grove. Parker's doesn't get talked about on LTH much.

    I had the margherita as that was the last kind of pizza I had in Naples, I wanted to compare. I differences are slight: more cheese at Forno Rosso, crust had more integrity but was more airy at Forno Rosso, sauce had more flavor in Naples. Again, all of these were very slight differences, nothing pronounced.

    Very much enjoyed it and will be back to try other varieties.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #13 - December 24th, 2013, 1:03 pm
    Post #13 - December 24th, 2013, 1:03 pm Post #13 - December 24th, 2013, 1:03 pm
    I had a very enjoyable lunch here last week. This style of pizza is not my favorite but I thought the execution of the style was dead-on perfect. The crust -- charred (mostly) around the edge and soft in the center -- had a great depth of flavor and the ingredients were clearly of superior quality. Everything we ate was quite tasty. Here's a quick recap . . .

    Image
    Burrata
    This was really creamy with a delicious and delicate flavor.


    Image
    Arancini
    These were about as good a version as I've ever had. The rice was tender without being mushy and the filling was flavorful with a nice moisture level.


    Image
    Prosiutto e Arugola | fresh mozzarella, prosciutto di parma, arugula, parmigiano reggiano, basil
    Great stuff. I just loved how the sweetness of the ham and the bitterness of the greens worked together with the charred crust.


    Image
    Rosso Diavolo | tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella hot soppressata, crushed red peppers
    Another excellent pizza, that I'd definitely order again.


    Image
    Rosso Diavolo | tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella hot soppressata, crushed red peppers
    A closer look at the charred crust, which was delicious.


    Image
    Spumoni Bomba | strawberry, pistachio and chocolate gelati, coated with chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate
    The owner came into the shop near the end of our lunch. He knew one of my companions and very kindly sent out this dessert for us. He confirmed that these bombas are actually imported from Italy.

    I thought the food was delicious. I was also pleased that it was a relatively short drive from my office in Niles. I can definitely see stopping in here for lunch when conditions permit. Beyond that, dedicated trips -- from anywhere in Chicagoland -- when one is in the mood for Napoletana-style pizza would definitely be warranted.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #14 - December 24th, 2013, 3:09 pm
    Post #14 - December 24th, 2013, 3:09 pm Post #14 - December 24th, 2013, 3:09 pm
    Excellent pix, Ron.

    About prosciutto and arugula, I like it, but much prefer braesola, and with that meat, I like it warmed within the body of the pizza, with leaves sprinkled on as soon as the pie comes out of the oven (I believe that's how it's usually prepared in Italy, not that there aren't other ways of doing it). For some reason, braesola seems almost rare around Chicagoland, perhaps because it's less known and so less likely to be ordered and so supply is limited due to limited demand.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #15 - January 4th, 2014, 11:15 am
    Post #15 - January 4th, 2014, 11:15 am Post #15 - January 4th, 2014, 11:15 am
    Sweet Willie wrote:
    Katie wrote:Maybe a long drive from the city, but it looks like a good option for those looking near O'Hare.
    yes it is, a relatively quick drive for me from Des Plaines.

    I went yesterday afternoon in the no man's time of 3pm. I was one of 3 people total in the place. Owner Nick came out, we chatted about the pizza & my recent trip to Naples/Amalfi Coast/Paestum. He was quite proud (as he should be) of being only 1 of 3 places in Chicagoland that is certified by VPN or the American Delegation of the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana. the other two places are Spacca Napoli and Parker's in Downer's Grove. Parker's doesn't get talked about on LTH much.

    I had the margherita as that was the last kind of pizza I had in Naples, I wanted to compare. I differences are slight: more cheese at Forno Rosso, crust had more integrity but was more airy at Forno Rosso, sauce had more flavor in Naples. Again, all of these were very slight differences, nothing pronounced.

    Very much enjoyed it and will be back to try other varieties.


    For anyone interested in perusing a translated version of the VPN regs: http://www.fornobravo.com/vera_pizza_na ... _spec.html
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #16 - January 23rd, 2014, 1:33 pm
    Post #16 - January 23rd, 2014, 1:33 pm Post #16 - January 23rd, 2014, 1:33 pm
    I just noticed today that Forno Rosso is now part of the AAdvantage (American Airlines miles) dining program.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #17 - January 24th, 2014, 10:46 am
    Post #17 - January 24th, 2014, 10:46 am Post #17 - January 24th, 2014, 10:46 am
    I had a very late lunch there yesterday and was immediately seduced by the relaxed ambiance, the pleasant welcome and attitude of the manager (the owner obviously was not present at the time), and the fact that the room is literally bathed in the sun rays. It was my first visit but once I observed the way the young pizzaiolo was preparing the dough, arranging the ingredients, and watching with a very professional attention the actual baking process that took less than 2 minutes, the way it should be, I knew that my pizza was going to be good. Sure enough when they brought my "Locale"
    ($12.95) made from superb quality fresh mozzarella, perfectly well balanced (in terms of spicing) sausage made to their specifications by a neighborhood butcher, organic mushrooms, very fresh basil leaves, and a spectacular light but aromatic tomato sauce, I was impressed by its visual aspect. They use non refrigerated naturally raised dough made from 00 flour imported from Italy which gives that perfect balance of light and crustiness. A beautifully blistered and just a bit charred crust is obtained when the pizzaiolo at the end lift the paddle towards the domed roof of the wood burning "forno" (covered by shiny red tiles) for a few seconds.
    So the consistency of the crust is ideal, with a soft but not soggy center.
    It was the best pizza I had in a very long time in the Chicago area , and I liked it better than Nella's on Fullerton where the last pie I had there 3 months ago was a disaster (Nella herself was not officiating at the oven), or Spacca's.
    In some ways it reminded me of Union's in Evanston but better.
    A glass of decent Sangiovese and a near perfect espresso completed this intense moment of pleasure.
    I cannot wait to go back there to try the caponnata prepared every week by the owner's grandmother and one of their white pizzas which look very attractive.
    Too bad it is such a long drive.
    My only complaint is the annoying loud music background and the 2 running TV sets ...
  • Post #18 - January 24th, 2014, 2:30 pm
    Post #18 - January 24th, 2014, 2:30 pm Post #18 - January 24th, 2014, 2:30 pm
    Had my birthday dinner here last weekend and as always it was wonderful. Started with the must have caponata and the salumi plate. Both were tasty. We split a marguerite, a Veneto with speck and the perennial winner, prosciutto with arugula. Finished with some very tasty but ever so slightly grainy hazelnut gelato.
  • Post #19 - March 2nd, 2014, 2:23 pm
    Post #19 - March 2nd, 2014, 2:23 pm Post #19 - March 2nd, 2014, 2:23 pm
    Octarine wrote: Started with the must have caponata and the salumi plate. Both were tasty.
    Our group dinner of 19 this past Friday enjoyed the salumi plate as well.

    Lots of finished off pizzas & smiles led me to believe all in our group were quite pleased with their pizzas.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #20 - March 4th, 2014, 7:25 am
    Post #20 - March 4th, 2014, 7:25 am Post #20 - March 4th, 2014, 7:25 am
    My son and I were part of the 19.

    We had shown up a tad early and the manager couldn't have been any nicer welcoming and explained some back history of the place.

    The Salumi plate was very good and we split a prosciutto and arugula pizza. Perfectly done and my son even suggested we come back to try other items on the menu. My son is a tavern style kid but he was blown away just how good this was.
    It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice......that's what people will remember.
  • Post #21 - March 4th, 2014, 1:53 pm
    Post #21 - March 4th, 2014, 1:53 pm Post #21 - March 4th, 2014, 1:53 pm
    I (down at the other end of the table :: wave to plark::) was in the group of 19 too, and I also thought it was a great dinner at a great place. I had the Locale red pizza and the Toscano salad (greens, Gorgonzola, pear slices, and balsamic vinegar). Both the pizza and the salad were very good as leftovers the next day. Neapolitan pizza not being dependent on crust crispness, it reheats very nicely, I thought.

    We didn't try to share everything; just about everyone ordered their own pizzas. Our server used a tablet to keep track of every person's pizza, drink, appetizer, and dessert orders, and I thought he did a great job and remained cheerful and cordial throughout our big dinner.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #22 - March 4th, 2014, 3:35 pm
    Post #22 - March 4th, 2014, 3:35 pm Post #22 - March 4th, 2014, 3:35 pm
    I'm glad to hear you all enjoyed Forno Rosso. I think it's a great addition to the neighborhood.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #23 - April 15th, 2014, 11:55 am
    Post #23 - April 15th, 2014, 11:55 am Post #23 - April 15th, 2014, 11:55 am
    Update on latest visit:

    We stopped by a few Sundays ago, and the place was a bit more busy than usual. I had a Barese (white with rapini/sausage), and it came out suprisingly fast. When I tasted, it was not as warm as usual, and the crust was good but not great. So we called Nick over. The crust had a line of uncooked dough, and he took great care inspecting the pizza. We didn't ask to complain, merely to talk about what seemed to be a slight deviation from his usual excellent quality.

    Nick bent over backwards for us, comping our meal and saying our feedback was worth 1000 times that. He then went to try a new pizza to check the oven, and brought it out to our table. He speculated that with the busy time, they had thrown too much wood in the oven, changing the temp. But as usual, Nick went above & beyond.

    I'd like to say in addition to the amazing food, it's service & attention to detail like this that makes me love this place. I'm sad missed the window, or I'd have thrown a nomination in for a GNR for them. I hope more people make the trek out to him. It's truly a gem in the city, not just the NW side.

    BTW, the visit before that, I had his white pizza with corn (it's on the menu now, not just a special...but seemingly not on their online menu yet). I was skeptical of the ingredient (Douglas Adams famously made fun of the Brits for putting corn on pizza), but damn it was good. I highly recommend.
    Last edited by madopal on April 15th, 2014, 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #24 - April 15th, 2014, 12:05 pm
    Post #24 - April 15th, 2014, 12:05 pm Post #24 - April 15th, 2014, 12:05 pm
    madopal, thanks for relating Nick's response to your concern: good customer service, textbook.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #25 - April 15th, 2014, 12:11 pm
    Post #25 - April 15th, 2014, 12:11 pm Post #25 - April 15th, 2014, 12:11 pm
    Seeing this thread pop up made me realize I hadn't posted on a meal from mid-March there. We went after a wake in the general area. Menu details are fuzzy, but I know I loved the sausage pizza. Staff was extremely friendly as well.

    madopal -- there's always the next GNR cycle... ;-)
    -Mary
  • Post #26 - April 15th, 2014, 1:16 pm
    Post #26 - April 15th, 2014, 1:16 pm Post #26 - April 15th, 2014, 1:16 pm
    The GP wrote:Seeing this thread pop up made me realize I hadn't posted on a meal from mid-March there. We went after a wake in the general area. Menu details are fuzzy, but I know I loved the sausage pizza. Staff was extremely friendly as well.

    madopal -- there's always the next GNR cycle... ;-)


    Yup, the sausage from Joseph's is something else. It's hard for me to order a pizza without it.

    And I know, always time for a GNR next year!
  • Post #27 - June 21st, 2014, 7:50 pm
    Post #27 - June 21st, 2014, 7:50 pm Post #27 - June 21st, 2014, 7:50 pm
    I was at Forno Rosso today for lunch with my brother. This style of pizza is nice, but I never crave it or go out of my way for it. I'm just used to the fat and salt of our local pizzas. I had a sausage pizza with extra basil which was very good, and my brother had a three meat special that he loved. To me, it was just like Spacca Napoli, so if you like that style, you'll like this. But I like New York Neapolitan much better. Since my brother lives in Jefferson Park and loved his pizza, he will definitely be back. I will probably be down Harlem Ave when I'm in Dunning again at one of my favorites - Mr. Beef and Pizza. And yes, for those who wanted to know - they did have the World Cup on the TVs, and no, I did not watch a second of it.
  • Post #28 - June 21st, 2014, 9:04 pm
    Post #28 - June 21st, 2014, 9:04 pm Post #28 - June 21st, 2014, 9:04 pm
    I was there this weekend as well, and it's clear they're fighting some neighborhood pizza perceptions. They now bring cheese and crushed red pepper out in pizza shakers. Nick wasn't there, but when I asked the manager about it, he said that Nick has decided to just bring them out to the tables...which, to me, is worse than putting ketchup on a hot dog. The manager said he agrees, but they're trying to treat the customer as always right.

    Speaking of ketchup, that brought a story out of the manager. He said a customer was in and had ordered a pizza, and then proceeded to request a bottle of ketchup. When they brought it out, the customer then slathered his pizza in ketchup. The manager, a bit aghast at this, tried to mention to the customer how the ingredients he just paid for were worth a bit more than that ketchup, and apparently got a retort about whether or not the manager was criticizing the customer. And with an apology from the manager, the conversation was ended.

    I sure hope that Dunning can realize what a gem they've got there and not spoil it by slathering it in ketchup. I'm of a mind to call for a NW side outing for any LTHers who haven't tried. Anyone game?
  • Post #29 - June 22nd, 2014, 7:45 am
    Post #29 - June 22nd, 2014, 7:45 am Post #29 - June 22nd, 2014, 7:45 am
    madopal wrote:the customer then slathered his pizza in ketchup

    Lots of my Polish brethren in that area. Perhaps zapiekanka is to blame!
  • Post #30 - July 27th, 2014, 7:05 am
    Post #30 - July 27th, 2014, 7:05 am Post #30 - July 27th, 2014, 7:05 am
    I spoke with Nick recently and he mentioned another location in the city is in the works. I can't remember the exact location but I believe it is in the downtown area.

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