Fortina in Rye Brook, NY – Wood Fired Oven Pizza and An Impromptu Octopus Dish Ranking

I found myself in the Rye Brook location of Fortina three weeks ago during a freezing night in February.  It was past nine and the restaurant was empty.  The Rye Brook location, in comparison to that of Armonk, is much more open and has better parking options.  Fortina is known for the wood-fired oven pizza and its simple Italian cooking.   Click here for my previous post.  A friend I went with apparently taught the Fortina owner Social Studies in a Bronx high school!  Look at that – our inner City education system can actually churn out entrepreneurs!

Spicy Olives – Simple? Yes.  Spicy? Yes.  Need to spit out the pits?  Yes. Good snacks for in between dishes?  Yes.

There was also supposed to be Wood-Fired Polpo with white beans, olives, and salumi vinaigrette but I forgot to take a photo.  Usually, this only happens when I am too excited about the food or the situation!  The octopus dish was excellent, too little to share in fact. We ate it very quickly.  I am a big fan of the octopus in every which way.  Of all the octopus dishes I have eaten that are shared on this blog, here is the ranking:  #Octopus

  1. Salt and Fat in Sunnyside, NY (in squid ink. Yum.)
  2. Osteria Laguna Bar and Restaurant in Manhattan, NY (with white bean paste)
  3. Zero Otto Nove in Armonk, NY / Roberto’s in the Bronx (grilled and a bit charred)
  4. Fortina in Rye, NY (with white bean paste).  This post here.
  5. Buena Vista Bistro, Miami, FL (grilled with butter)
  6. Casa Mono in NYC (tapas and too greasy)
  7. Kalbi House in White Plains, NY (wok-fried with noodles)

This is the Spicy Meatball Pizza with Fortina, pickled cherry peppers.  Do you see a theme here?  We like spicy food.

A virgin mojito that is entirely way too syrupy and soda like. But it does wash out the meatball and the octopus taste from your mouth.

Would I return?  Absolutely.  We should always support entrepreneurs in this economy.

This experience took place at


136 South Ridge Street
Rye Ridge Shopping Center
Rye Brook, NY


Village Social in Mount Kisco, NY – Hello Pizza!

A friend and I met up to have a leisure lunch during the Labor Day long weekend. We decided to go to Village Social Kitchen + Bar in Mount Kisco, NY.  Do you know that I have not had pizza since say, April or May this year?  Coming back from Taiwan and trying to avoid all Asian restaurants, pizza seems to be the extreme that could be both safe and tasty.  It was!


This is the Sunny Side Egg Pizza with prosciutto, tomatoes and truffles


This is my friend’s Grilled Eggplant Sandwich, with chili aioli, caramelized onions, mozzarella, and fried.  Look at those French fries!


This is our appetizer, salty pretzel tuna with kimchi aioli and scallion.  It is crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside with a kick of kimchi.  Even the bees love it!  We got many bee visitors throughout our lunch.


The salty and sweet combo: salty peanut butter pie with sweet vanilla ice cream.

This is my love: flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream.  It was ok. My utility went down very fast once I started eating. Too much American-type chocolate sweetness.  Basically, it was too sweet and made with the American brand chocolate. I prefer the European dark chocolate.  That’s ok.  I can always love again.

All in all, it was a very satisfying meal. We sat outside. The sun was shining and warm.  The company was excellent and the food was great.  We chatted about life and where we would go for a long weekend.  Will definitely return if I am seeking an easy and carefree lunch.  I understand the chef here used to work at Jean-George’s.

This experience took place at

Village Social Kitchen + Bar
251 East Main Street Mount Kisco, NY 10549