Thursday, December 5, 2013

Forno Rosso Pizzeria Napoletana

I have a bookmark folder on my browser called "Chicago Places to Try" that I am constantly adding places to; however, I am such a creature of habit, especially when it comes to food, that we rarely actually visit the places I have saved. Yesterday I decided that Timmy and I should visit one of those places today. The decision to visit Forno Rosso Pizzeria Napoletana was an easy choice after I revisited their photos on Yelp. In truth, the photos "called to me" so much so, that I contemplated heading out there at 10:00 pm (thankfully I didn't, because our waiter said that the kitchen usually closes at 10:30).

Forno Rosso means "red oven" in Italian; all the pizzas are cooked in a bright red wood-fired oven. It is located just a half mile south of The HIP (Harlem Irving Plaza) which makes it a convenient stop on a shopping trip.

When I looked at Forno Rosso's menu, the first thing I noticed was that the pizzas did not come in varying sizes. Since each of the pizzas cost around $13, I assumed that they were a small, personal-sized pizza, so, Timmy and I ordered a focaccia and two pizzas to split. Turns out the pizzas are actually large enough that two normal people (IE, not Timmy and me) would be happy just splitting one, or maybe one pizza with an appetizer if they were particularly hungry. So, two people could easily get their fill for $20 (before tax and tip). For those curious, I would estimate the pizzas to be about 12 inches wide, or about the size of a typical frozen pizza.

We ordered the Locale and the Affumicata. The Locale is described as "tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, sausage made by local butcher for Forno Rosso, organic mushrooms," although we left the mushrooms off. The Affumicata is "imported smoked mozzarella, hot sopressata, bell peppers, basil." Both were really good, however, I was in love with the Affumicata; I especially loved that it didn't have tomato sauce (I have a tomato allergy/intolerance).

The service we received was exceptional. Our waiter was very friendly and attentive. The owner stopped by our table on his way in and introduced himself; when we mentioned we found Forno Rosso on Yelp, he let us know that we could save 5% on our menu by "checking in" to Forno Rosso on Yelp.

Two other random notes: 1) Free refills on pop! This may seem like a given, but in Chicago it is not, 2) About half the pizzas do not have meat, which makes Forno Rosso a nice choice for vegetarians as well.

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