Pizza Party: Il Fornello

Il Fornello really does taste as good as it sounds. My family consists of pizza fanatics, so an authentically Italian-sounding restaurant in our own town was something we couldn’t pass up. Especially when they serve all of their individual pizzas for just $10 after 4pm on weekdays. Friday isn’t the only time for pizza night!

Margherita Pizza (with mushrooms) – “The classic pizza from Naples with tomato sauce, frosh mozzarella, basil”

My first trip here consisted of ordering the Margherita Pizza (with added mushrooms, of course.) As this was my first time at this restaurant, I thought I’d try a pretty basic pizza so I could see if it lived up to its name. The pizza was a great size, with a thin-crust baked in an authentic wood-burning pizza oven. Unlike those cookie-cutter style take-out pizzas, each slice was different but had one thing in common; they were freaking delicious. The light sauce was not too overpowering, so you could definitely savour the mozzarella that was super gooey and chewy. The mushrooms were plentiful (thank god) and combined well with the basil. I’m not one to eat the crust, but the base was so delicious that I ate every last slightly oven-charred bubble of it.

My family saw the Fig Pizza on the menu and couldn’t resist ordering one to try as an appetizer. I went to the bathroom before it had arrived and returned to see only one piece left, that’s how good it was. It was topped with mascarpone cheese, prosciutto (which I picked off since I don’t eat red meat), figs, shaved grana padano cheese, honey and arugula. I nearly died. Yes, mascarpone is the main ingredient in Tiramisui, so it felt strange to order it on a pizza but to my tastebuds it was perfectly right. There was no sauce, just this mixture of honey and the two cheeses (and to my surprise grana padano is only similar to parmesan!) The pieces of figs were so tasty and pulled everything together. I would definitely recommend getting a smaller size of this as a sweet appetizer/side to share, even if you’re more of a savoury pizza fan.

My sister ordered the Gnocchi Asiago. I tried gnocchi for the first time on a Disney cruise line (yes, as part of a buffet) and loved it! It was super cheesy and pan-fried with a crispy outer shell. It was very flavourful; so I was slightly disappointed when I went to a local restaurant run by college students and the gnocchi was gummy and bland. The dish was expensive, and came with mushrooms and edible flowers, but it just felt like eating literal dough. Thankfully, the gnocchi at Il Fornello renewed my love for the meal. It was very flavourful, the highlight of the dish being the absolutely divine sauce it was served with. The asiago cream sauce was very fresh, mixed with spinach throughout and topped with crunchy shallots. I ended up dipping my mom’s leftover pizza crust in it.

BBQ Chicken Pizza – “Tomato sauce, mozzarella, slow roasted chicken, chipotle BBQ sauce, roasted red peppers, charred red onions”

Of course we had to back to this place. I wanted to try something different, as well as have some extra protein since I was extremely hungry. If this place could do a plain pizza perfectly, could they do a wacky kind like BBQ Chicken justice? Yes. The pizza was perfectly cooked again, and the basic cheese they use is just as delicious as the fresh mozzarella on the Margherita pizza. The chicken was super tender and slightly shredded, combined with the BBQ sauce it tasted like a comfort-food cookout. Although I can’t handle much spice, the tangy chipotle was just enough that it added to the flavour without setting my tongue on fire. If you’re looking for a unique flavoured pizza, this should be your go-to.

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Margherita Pizza (with chicken) – “the classic pizza from Naples with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil,” in the background is the Fig Pizza “mascarpone, figs, shaved parmigiana, honey, arugula”

I couldn’t resist that fresh mozzarella and basil combination the third time at this place, so I ordered the Margherita pizza and added chicken as well. The saying “third time’s the charm” definitely applied here; out of all the pizzas I enjoyed at this restaurant, this was the best one yet. I think 3 pizzas are enough for one post, but definitely not for my stomach, so I’ll be returning to Il Fornello pretty soon after this post is published…

Some other great options…

(Left to right: Pizza Fichi (mascarpone, prosciutto, figs, shaved parmigiana, honey & arugula), Parmesan Prosciutto Pizza, Fresh Basil, Mozzarella and Chicken Pizza.

 

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