celebrating the glories of eating in brooklyn. from the gut.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Catching Up: Fornino and Subway in Williamsburg

I have a lot of catching up to do. I've been to a few places recently that I'd like to write about. Let me start with Fornino, a gourmet pizza restaurant in Williamsburg.

Simply, the pizza I had at Fornino was excellent. Not in the DiFara's/Grimaldi's league, Fornino is a wood-fired, artisanal league of its own. This pizza really reminds me of the kind you get in Italy. I love both New York style pizza and the Italian pies. Neither is better, just different.

The dough was crispy, yet airy. I loved the combination of toppings they offered. I had the "Al Roker" with capicola and roasted red peppers. Another hit were the clams -- very fresh in a simple sauce of white wine, clam juice and a hint of lemon.

To me pizza is the perfect food, especially if done right. Fornino should be put on the list for any pizza lover.

I don't live in Williamsburg, but I go occasionally, especially when I hear about a place like Fornino. I happened to notice the new Subway Restaurant on Bedfored Avenue and frankly it saddened me to see the encroachment of franchises. Not only a trend in Williamsburg, but in all of New York City. When we have such a wonderful selection of owner-operated restaurants, why do we need a Subway and McDonald's?

So it's no surprise to me that Newsday came out with this story last week -- Starbucks, Subway, allegedly McDonald's. It's important to strike a balance, but once the corporate onslaught starts, we know who ends up winning, despite community efforts.

Sorry for going off on a tangent here, but as a homeowner in the borough, I'm deeply troubled by the lack of say and influence that actual residents have on the community they live in. While I realize in a free market society Subway and McDonald's can open shop wherever they like and I don't begrudge them that (or want protectionist policies), I just feel strongly that people should have a say in the way their community develops. In New York, that isn't happening.

Fornino is located at 187 Bedford Ave., 718-384-6004, and Subway is located at, well, everywhere.


Blogger debbie said...

Hmmph. That Subway. There are actually handbills posted around the neighborhood by someone who is EXTREMELY passionate about the chain's potential to destroy the delicate, um, flavor of W'burg. The place seems to be doing ok business, though I rarely notice anyone who looks like they live here--it's not hipsters, it's mostly guys in uniform or construction workers, grabbing a quick sandwich on their lunch break.

1:34 PM

Anonymous Steve R. said...

Nice site... just linked here from CH.

As an aside to your Fornino's review, did you know that the owner is Michael Ayoub, the original owner of Cucina on 5th Ave in the Slope? Grows the herbs and some veggies in the back of the restaurant. I liked it when I went. Nothing exceptional (like DiFara's) but good.

12:20 PM

Blogger EFB said...


I think I had read that somewhere actually. I agree nothing like Difara's but the pizza really reminded me of the kind you get in Italy.

4:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can keep the chains out of your neighb by voting with your wallet. Unfortunately if there is a need they will fill it.

6:39 PM


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