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Deep Fry My Disappointment And Call It Forcella

Special Note: I have been horribly delinquent due to a slight life upheaval that now has me in the very south of Florida. I plan to be less delinquent in between hustling work and will deliver South Florida pizza reviews that, so far, have been … well …just wait for it. Regardless, before I left town I wrote this review of Forcella on Bowery. When I arrived in South Florida I saw a ton of positive reviews on Twitter, which prompted me to dust this off. Enjoy.

Pizza consumed on March 7, 2012

Because I spent a good month deprived of pizza, and at least two years being unimpressed with NYC’s selection (Yes, even Pulino’s hurt my feelings), I had to let others be my guides in my first official pizza review adventure.

I went to Twitter. “Where in NY should I eat pizza tomorrow? If it was your last day on Earth, what would you suggest?” I asked, knowing that people would not take such a request lightly. Paulie Gee! Forcella! Lucali! Luzzo’s! came flying at me instantly. Meh, I’ve had Luzzo’s. Paulie Gee got added to my future review list due to its location. Forcella won with its “Flash fried pizza!” boasting. I envisioned an elephant ear topped with pizza things.

It was a Wednesday night when I found myself pushing through the door to Forcella on a pizza date with my sister, MaryBeth, who had just wrapped up a Young Professionals Amnesty International- New York City (NYC-YPAI) meeting – because she’s one of those good people.

The place was cold. Not temperature cold, but lack of comfort cold. Pizza is meant to be enjoyed in an environment that feels like a womb, not a tomb. The bar had tall metal stools that would complement Riker’s intake well. Icy chandeliers shivered down from the grey-silver ceiling. I almost made the mistake of choosing to sit at a tall bar table where I later saw others adjusting and readjusting their legs uncomfortably throughout their meals.

Our waiter, Patrick? Josh? Was nice enough, if not lacking a little in the warmth department himself, but that’s New York. He was knowledgeable and suggested a delicious bottle of red.  My sister and I selected the Amalfi salad, I chose the Montanara from the Pizze Fritte menu based on a “Your kids will be born daft if you come to Forcella and don’t order the Montanara” review site commenter. MaryBeth ordered the Sanita, a Margherita with mushrooms.

The salad was fine. But this isn’t a salad review, is it? It could have turned into that as all around us people who arrived after us received their pizzas. LONG after the salad had disappeared. The pizza arrived with apologies.

I was ready to be blown away. I grabbed a wad of fried dough with my fingertips, twisted, and yanked the fluffy softness from the pie. It was delicious, soft, chewy. Unfortunately so was the entire crust. It was undercooked.

There is nothing more heart breaking than a wet droopy pizza center. It’s downright depressing. The sauce was sweet. The cheese lolled about atop the sauce in barely melted blorps. There were no sprinkly accoutrements to perk this floppy pie up. This cowardly pizza didn’t even pretend to threaten to burn my mouthtop with its tepidity.

Perhaps I don’t know enough about a flash fried crust. Perhaps it’s depressing by design. Alas, the crust on MB’s pizza was just as morose. I slithered a sad slice from her plate to mine. It frowned bland mushrooms onto my dish as I coaxed its sad body into my mouth.

“Ok,” I thought, “dessert will save us.” I heard tell of a Nutella stuffed pizza that would blow the lint out of the deepest belly button.  It was slightly warm, nutty, and full of the goodness you would expect from Nutella, but nothing could save this pizza experience. The pie had a slight crunch that reminded me of the limp circle of pizza despair I had just experienced.

If you’re touting yourself as a “double certified pizza master” as chef Giulio Adriani is, that pizza better walk the talk, not laze about flaccid. Forcella falls below the DiGiorno bar.

I dined at the Bowery location and am willing to give the Lorimer spot a try to compare. We’ll see, I’m still deep(dish) in therapy over this.

Photos by Kelly Samardak/Shortstack Photography