In 2009, Frank Bruni interviewed pizzaioli Michael Ayoub for The New York Times, discussing that period’s culinary boom and craving for artisanal pizza. A decade later, Ayoub and his Italian restaurant Fornino (849 Manhattan Avenue) are still at the forefront of this movement.
Neo-Neapolitan, as Ayoub describes its culinrary style, Fornino has been a Greenpoint mainstay since 2013 but has also enjoyed some sibling locations: the waterfront gem in DUMBO (which on a busy night can go through a thousand pies) and an older, now-closed spot in the heart of Williamsburg. The Greenpoint location may not have a sweeping view of the East River, but it easily charms with its twinkly backyard during the warmer moths and its cozy interior warmed by the fire of the wood-burning oven. While the restaurant is often busy packing up to-go pies, half the fun is eating in person and seeing the crackling oven at work.
Everything is cooked in and around this hearth: the soft but filling meatballs, the wood-roasted brussel sprouts, and (naturally) the nearly 30 pizzas on the eclectic menu. Some varieties are more traditional faire (your margherita, your marinara), and others are more daring: the gorgonzola (comprised of the namesake cheese, rosemary, mozzarella, caramelized onions, and not a bit salty) or the copa e kale (spicy copa, stracciatella, truffle honey, pecorino). All delight and come out bubbling, served by an attentive staff.
Casual, family-friendly, and neat, Fornino also offers a wide variety of drinks from local beers to Italian wines. All this makes for a fine (and affordably priced) meal, but the main course may be more a feast for the eyes: an immense collection of hanging red orbs designed and crafted by Ayoub, who studied under the iconic glassblower Dale Chihuly. Glowing and magical, they are just another delicious creation of Ayoub’s — sadly, not edible.
Celebrate National Pizza and Beer Day on Wednesday, October 9 — enjoy any small pizza and a Brooklyn Brewery beer on draft for just $20 (dine-in guests only).
Staying in Greenpoint this Memorial Day weekend? A staycation is a fantastic way to recharge and enjoy the neighborhood without the crowds. You didn’t spend your dollars traveling so why not support local businesses with some extra savings? Through Monday (5/27), you can get 30% off at neighborhood restaurants and shops on the Cinch app.
Here are some ideas for you.
Booze it up
Doubling up on your mimosas is easy when when it’s up to 30% off brunch cocktails. Brooklyn Label is your Greenpoint brunch go-to when you’re looking for that unbeatable combo of pancakes and booze. Day drinking is classy when it’s brunch. Continue reading →
Looking for a new gig or side hustle? Check out this fresh round up of some Greenpoint-based jobs for the week of May 11th.
Fornino (849 Manhattan Ave) needs to fill multiple waiter/waitress positions. Stop by the pizza spot with your resume! Another Greenpoint-based pizza restaurant (Paulie Gees, perhaps??) needs a full time daytime prep cook. Love pups? There’s some sweet dog walker positions available in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Calexico (645 Manhattan Ave) is on the search for an part time bartenders. Are you a suave, modern barber? The Land of Barbers needs you – a licensed barber. Make a damn fine cup of coffee: Odd Fox (984 Manhattan Ave) is looking for a barista to join their team. Delight the neighborhood with your confections: Cafe Rochelle (940 Manhattan Ave) put out the call for a pastry chef. An unnamed Greenpoint restaurant wants a full time dishwasher and night porter. Tutor wanted: help a student prep for the RN NCLEX exam. If you’re a customer service maven, check out this open role at Town Food Service. Fastenal, an industrial and construction supply distributor needs an account specialist.
In the second part of The Lunch Counter series (part one was North Greenpoint), we explore the “glitzier” south side of Greenpoint. Given the proximity to Williamsburg, it’s not surprising that the food scene follows some of the trends of our neighbors to the south. There are well-known chef-owners, brewers, local chains, vegan-only establishments and some traditional standbys.
From matcha to meat plates to mount qi pork sauce, there are lots of tempting meal options near Manhattan Avenue to lure you away from your coworking desk. Read on for your options after the jump. Continue reading →
Greenpoint, you are so spoiled! Now it will be even more difficult to figure out where to go for dinner or a cocktail because there has been an explosion of new places! Can’t keep up? Here is a brief rundown of all the open and soon to be open bars, restaurants and coffee shops in the hood. It’s kind of insane, right?! Let us know in the comments if you have tried any of the new places and what you think. Stay tuned for in depth reviews!
Officially Open in Greenpoint:
Achilles Heel (180 West St) We saw it finally opened on Instagram via @mfade. Tarlow considered the history of the Greenpoint waterfront when he designed the menu and space. According to Grub Street, Achilles Heel is “a café and bar meant to evoke the always-open grocery and drinking spot that once sustained Greenpoint dockworkers at its West Street address between 1900 and 1960.” Grab a coffee and a fresh snack sourced from Marlow & Daughters on your way to the Ferry and enjoy an afternoon Hemingway Daiquiri or a glass of wine near the piano after a long day at the office. Coming soon… a New England Style Clam Chowdah!
Torst (615 Manhattan Ave) A fancy beer bar for beer nerds. This spot was great for an after work beer and a delicious cheese plate. The beer list is extensive and the tapping system is state of the art. As described on Gothamist: “Tørst offers a selection of 21 draft and 200 bottled beers, including rare, international brews not seen before now in the States … the guys installed a custom-built draught system called the Flux Capacitor, which allows individual draft lines to be temperature and pressure customized for specific beers, plus a system that allows for four different temperature controls.” Like I said, it’s for beer nerds.
Jimmy’s Diner (92 Calyer St) Formerly Calyer, Jimmy’s Diner #2 has opened up literally overnight! This photo sent to me by Paulie Gee. The menu will be similar to the Union Ave location. Get ready for mac n’ cheese, fried chicken and perhaps some key lime pie?!
Spina (107 Franklin St) It’s a flower shop slash coffee shop and get this -the coffee is BLUE BOTTLE! Spina’s main business is social event planning, but after a visit to Italy and San Francisco, owner Paul Tsang and his partner Vanessa Chinga-Haven decided to start serving coffee in the new Franklin St space because, “coffee is aromatic and flowers are aromatic,” Paul told Greenpointers. How lovely. Continue reading →