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The Early Word on the Bowery Location of Forcella

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Last week, popular Neapolitan pizzeria Forcella opened its first Manhattan location. Reviewers are divided in opinion when it comes to Giulio Adriani's fried pies, but his other pizzas, which are baked in a mosaic-tiled oven imported from Italy, receive only high praise. The place still doesn't have a liquor license yet, but that doesn't seem to be stopping new and old fans from eating there or raving about it. Here's the early word:

The Rave: One eGullet reviewer gets adjective-happy in describing Giulio Adriani and his pizzas: "He looks like a jazz trumpeter, or maybe a saxophonist. The hair extending down from his chin is more thick stalactite than goatee. He’s lanky, with thick-rimmed, square-edged glasses, and he sports a type of hat that I can’t identify and certainly couldn’t wear. Giulio Adriani makes pizza. But right now he is making a face suggesting confusion, even concern. Why have I ordered so much, he asks? Why do I always order so much? I make a feeble excuse that just as there are by-the-slice pizzerias, there are by-the-slice pizza eaters—but I am not one."

The reviewer goes on to write, "Giulio fries a smallish round of dough first, punching down the center so the edges puff up but the center stays so thin as to be nearly translucent. While still warm, he spreads it with tomato sauce and dots it with mozzarella. It's baked for slightly less time than a typical Neapolitan pizza, which is to say, not very long at all. Then I observe a moment of silence, sweet, gluttonous silence. During fried pizza consumption I am not to be disturbed...At this point I could be a tease and stop my story right there. For me to assert that the montanara is the single best thing to order at Forcella (probably the single best Neapolitan pizzeria I've ever been to outside of Naples) could save you further reading..." [eGullet]

More Good News: Here is what one Eater commenter has to say: "The truffle oil pizza with shaved Parmesan and fresh arugula is to die for. I sampled it at the opening party, the chef churning out fresh pies by the minute. The half-baked half-fried has nothing on this one. Know the doughs are excellent with a soft chew and satisfying pull!" [Eater Comments]

The Food Critic Review: Here is what Village Voice's Lauren Shockey had to say: "I began with the pizzelle di nonna, an appetizer listed as "small deep fried pizza with tomato and parmesan," since that dish wasn't listed on the menu when I reviewed Forcella and I wanted to compare it to the big deep-fried pizza, the montanara. A plate arrived with two small, puffy disks, lightly smeared with tomato sauce, sprinkled with cheese, and topped with a basil leaf. Yet whereas the montanara is finished by baking it in the pizza oven, giving a nice char and chew on the crust, this dish tasted more like a savory doughnut. As much as I love fried food, I'd probably skip this next time. It's like buying the fake Coach bag instead of the real Prada one: better in the long run to go all out. The pizzas, though, are as good as ever. I opted for the fuorigrotta ($14), which comes topped with homemade mozzarella, pecorino, thin lemon slices, and a showering of arugula. The sharpness of the greens and acidity from the lemon cuts through the richness of the cheese, and the crust is nicely soft and puffy (being Neapolitan-style, after all) but not soggy. Obviously one pizza isn't enough to make a whole judgment, but as far as I can tell, the food at the new Forcella is just as good as at the old, and the digs are even better." [Village Voice]

The Yelpers: With 14 reviews on Yelp, all four stars and above, Forcella now has a whopping four and half stars (That's as many stars as Daniel, Jean Georges and Per Se). Here is a round-up of what Yelp reviewers have to say. One writes, "5 stars for the classic Margherita pizza, service, & decor. 4 stars because they have some kinks to work out. Sounds like they just opened, so they are still missing some things and need to work out some confusion. No liquor license yet." Another writes, "The decor and crowd was absolutely stunning. Great place to take a date. The classic black tiled wood oven, beautiful chandeliers and pendant lamps, great tables chairs, and even the cutlery made it an amazing atmosphere." Another rave: "Wow! Can't get enough of this place!!! Love the Williamsburg location and now how lucky that they are in NYC!!!! My personal fav: amalfi salad, fresh mozzarella is out of this world, and the acclaimed montanara is oh so special! I've been to this location 4 times since they opened with different friends each time and everyone gets hooked! Thank you Forcella!!!!" And yet another, "I have been a fan of Forcella ever since the place had opened in Williamsburg. Needless to say, I have been hooked by their pizzas ever since. Their Neapolitan style pies are unparalleled anywhere else in the tri-state area; or for that matter, anywhere outside the confines of Naples. [Yelp]

From The Tipline: One reviewer wrote to Eater: "Just got back from dinner at opening night at Forcella. Delicious deep fried pizza but also had a great salad too. Restaurant was only about 1/3 full around 9pm. Service was very attentive and friendly, and even threw in free dessert! Will definitely be back to try other pizzas." [Tipline]

The Pie News: Lunch Studio talks pizza dough: "We tried the fried pizza, the Montanara, and a regular one, the Materdei (magherita with hot salami). The Montanara was nice and absolutely reminded me of eating fried dough at street festivals, fun but not something to eat on a regular basis. The Materdei, on the other hand, is a definite order again. The center was a touch soggy but we were adoring the chewy, slightly salty crust." [Lunch Studio]

The Social Media Tipster: One Tweeter wrote, "Still dreaming of the pumpkin pizza last night at @ForcellaNYC #yum" [Twitter]

The Big Question: Zagat Buzz has positive things to say about Giulio Adriani's pies, but still wonders if they beat out the competition?: "The pies stand out because of the dough (super fluffy, with the perfect amount of char) and the ingredients (housemade cheeses and top-notch imports from Italy), but are they really that much better than other wood-fired offerings around town (see Donatella and under-the-radar Zigolinis)?" [Zagat Buzz]

· All Coverage of Forcella [~ENY~]


33 North Square, , MA 02113 (617) 936-4274 Visit Website


334 Bowery, New York, NY

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