out at forno osteria & bar

Have I mentioned that by the end of this month, my husband will have traveled every single week for work?

This of course has its pros and cons. Biggest con? Not having him there to hook Harry and I up with amazing, hit-the-spot dinners. Biggest pro? Swan diving into bed to do snow angles and watch all the shows I’ve already seen on Bravo while trolling Instagram at night.

However, his time away means his time home is precious and exciting, so when he found himself home early from a trip last week, we used it as an excuse to go out to dinner and try Forno, something we’d both been dying to do.

Forno, the newest from the local culinary dynasty that is Cristian Pietoso (of Via Vite and Nicola’s), is located in that little strip of restaurants and bars on Erie Avenue, just past Dutch’s and Keystone. Forno, which is Italian for oven, centers around just that – a 900 degree oven that can cook a pizza in 90 seconds. So serious.

Unfortunately for us, we went in not craving pizza, so I cannot speak to their specialty. However, we did go with classically warm and rich pasta options that were there to fill us up on a cold winter’s night.

Forno bruscettaKenny and I are both lovers of bruschetta, so when presented with the appetizer option, it was inevitable that we would order. While there were four variations, we narrowed down the prospects to two – the mortadella-truffle mousse with crushed pistachio or the tonnato-tuna confit with caperberry. We ultimately went with the first, even though we didn’t know what mortadella was. (I of course just saw truffle and pushed for it.)

Not realizing we were basically eating Italian bologna made for a bit of shock and surprise, but once we realized what we were doing, we entered into a more delicious space. I initially wasn’t sure I liked it, but the last few bites were particularly good, especially when concentrating on the char on the grilled bread. I think the initial what the? was a result of thinking we were getting something more sweet, when in fact, we got something savory. (Although it was still sweet, because it was like ham salad, but you get the idea.)

Forno wild boar raguFor a main dish, Kenny ordered the whole wheat pappardelle cinghiale. This beer-braised wild boar ragout was exactly what you’d expect – rich, meaty, dense, savory. I personally loved it for a bite, but my delicate sensibilities knew I wouldn’t have been able to handle it for my entire course. My burly man-husband on the other hand? Crushed it.

Forno gnocchiI opted for the gnocchi. This was a no-brainer as I knew this gnocchi’s pedigree (we’re talking Nicola’s and Via Vite lineage remember?). And as those familiar would expect, there was perfectly fluffy puffy gnocchi nibs in decadent fondue, but this version also included shaved parmesan and bacon and chives. Good thing I tote a portable AED machine because this bad boy was worth the heart attack risk.

To no surprise, Forno was awesome. To no surprise, whatsoever.

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