Fortina in Armonk, NY- December Challenge 2 of 17, Buzzing Flies Accompanied Our Brunch 

Fortina is a very popular restaurant in my hometown. The three prior visits yielded much happiness and fulfilled tummies. See my Fortina posts, click here for my first experience, here for the pizza and here for the Rye Brook location. However, this Fall brunch visit is rather different, unfortunately. To quote my 11-year-old, “Even the flies are trying to get out of here.” The restaurant was loud with music and buzzing sounds of flies. We could not bat the flies away quick enough.

Really? Multiple flies buzzing in our ears and above our food in a restaurant that charges $21 for a small pizza? Shame on you, Fortina.
WOOD-FIRED POLPO with white bean, olives, salumi vinaigrette. Decent octopus. The white beans were ok. The wood-fired anything in Fortina is usually good.
HAM AND EGGS with prosciutto, soft poached egg, crispy potatoes, parm. Looked interesting and tasted salty. My daughter found it not worth eating. She picked at the crispy prosciutto and potatoes and skipped the poached egg completely. THE LUIGI BIANCO pizza with burrata, robiolona, parmesan, black truffle. This had been my favorite of Fortina. It kind of was still fine but the constant swatting of the flies did not enhance my enjoyment.
Here is the bill, $60. Probably would have been justifiable without the flies. We finished our food as quickly as possible. In fact, ate only less than half and ran out of the restaurant.

Do you think I should have asked them to swat the flies for us? Don’t forget to bring your fly swatter when you go eat at Fortina’s. Buon appetito!

This experience took place at

Fortina Armonk
17 Maple Ave
Armonk, NY 10504
(914) 273-0900

Frankie & Fanucci’s Pizzaria in Mamaroneck, NY – A Happy Spring Lunch with an Average Wood-Fired Pizza

An Italian friend and I went to Frankie & Fanucci’s Pizzeria for a quick lunch. My honey boo boo monkey bird has been going to Frankie & Fanucci’s with her grandparents for years and this was my first time there. Given all the tall tales I have heard, I had high hopes for Frankie & Fanucci’s. I like pizza. I like wood oven, brick oven, and coal-fired pizzas. As long as it is well made, I will like it.

As always, I started out with a Classic Margherita with fresh mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes sauce, and bail. This was average. The crust was not thin and was not crispy. In fact, it was a little moist. My friend and I spent quite a lot of time talking about other better pizza places in Westchester or even the one down the street, called Sal’s (no frills pizzeria that turns out NY and Sicilian styled slices for decades).

Wood-fired Cauliflower: whipped ricotta, rosemary flatbread. This was also average. The aspect of having cauliflower at lunch was exciting for me but the execution was lacking in the whipped ricotta and rosemary flatbread. Very one note.

This entire lunch reminded me of one of my experiences in Fortina in Armonk where I ordered almost identical dishes: pizza and wood-dire cauliflowers. The satisfaction was high and certainly not average. See my post on Fortuna, click here.

I felt a little like an idiot for having selected Frankie & Fanucci’s to dine with an Italian…  However, the best part of my lunch that day was sitting outside for the first time this Spring with the sun hitting on my face. Happy Spring, my friends.

This experience took place at

Frankie & Fanucci’s Pizzeria
301 Mamaroneck Ave,
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
(914) 630-4360

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

Fortina

136 South Ridge Street
Rye Ridge Shopping Center
Rye Brook, NY
914-937-0900