Fortina has been open since 2012. It took me two years to get there. Two. Years. TWO YEARS?! I’m clearly an idiot because it’s rare to finally visit a place that you’ve heard so much about and actually love everything you ate.
It’s funny about my two years of NOT visiting. Fortina is in Armonk and I’m one of those Google Maps skeptics that think it underestimates the time of arrival to a certain place. Save your judgment, I know I’m a bit weird. I didn’t even know where the heck Armonk was until recently, but just an FYI for you Fairfield County folks, it’s only about 30 minutes away from where I live in Norwalk, so Google was dead on, minus the traffic of course.
That two years without going to Fortina I mentioned? Well, I ended up going twice in two weeks, with two very different experiences.
|The bar. Notice What About Bob? on the screen.|
|More Murray. This time as Steve Zissou. We learned that Chef Christian Petroni is a Bill Murray fan.|
Experience number one at Fortina came during a birthday bash on a busy Sunday evening at the restaurant. If you’ve never been, you will immediately realize that you’re probably the poorest person in there unless you own a house in Armonk. It’s also easily the coolest restaurant/bar/hangout spot in town and it is, for lack of a better and without giving you the longer description, extremely lively.
This “happening” spot is perfect for just about any occasion; kicking it with your pals, getting through that family dinner, or even just chillin at the bar with a craft beer and a pizza. Although, I really loved the strength of the Negroni so that’s my recommendation for YOU.
|One of the many craft beers you’ll find at Fortina. Love the Dead Guy Ale.|
On visit one I tried a little bit of everything from all over the menu. The fried meatballs were a nice surprise; a bit of crunch on the outside as you’d expect but they were extremely well seasoned and reminded me of an old school meatball from your grandma’s kitchen with the deep fried update. Another goodie on the antipasti section of the menu is the wood-roasted bone marrow. I tend to ALWAYS try marrow when I see it on a menu and found it to be one of the better versions in the lower Fairfield County/Westchester County area. My favorite small was a seasonal grilled corn that was done in that Mexican street corn style but with an Italian take on things. Fortina’s version used Parmesan, and had spice from the red chili flake, a pop of freshness from the lemon, and a bit of basil. My teeth hurt that day and I didn’t care, I ate three pieces. That’s true toughness.
|Burrata on top of fettunta w/brown butter, fresh corn.|
|Meatballs. We even mopped up the sauce.|
|And the corn.|
|We had to try a little pasta, right? These are fresh ricotta filled ravioli in a pomodoro sauce.|
After that we decided to try one pizza…One?! One. I wasn’t happy with that at all. I wanted to order one of every pizza but I was overruled. At least I got to choose The Luigi Bianco. Going in, I heard so much about The Luigi that I would not be denied. Luigi is a sauceless pie that combines burrata, robiolona, Parmesan and a drizzling of black truffle for a perfect pairing of creaminess and earthiness. I will order you every single time, Luigi.
My first time at Fortina felt incomplete. I needed more pizza. Luckily, a week later I had a food meetup with Fortina as the destination.
The second time I went all out pizza. The Luigi was a repeat but I ended up liking the All’ Amatriciana the best. Anything with bacon and a touch of spiciness always wins me over. I also tried a Margherita because you’ve got to go classic.
Everything about Fortina’s pizza is right. The dough has chew, but it still melts in your mouth. It’s salted well, but not so much so that it like you swallowed a mouthful of the ocean. In fact, I haven’t had better pizza anywhere other than from Marc Vetri’s restaurants in Philly. Fortina’s pizza is so good that I even got a Famous Ray’s to-go so I could experience Fortina again at night and the day after.
|Dessert was a must. A perfect spoonful of tiramisu.|
You’re probably sick of this brag about pizza so I’ll quit now. But I’ll add one more thing…
Fortina is coming to Harbor Point in Stamford in the early part of 2015. Get excited. I know I am.
17 Maple Avenue
Armonk, NY 10504