Think pizza can’t get any better, well think again, because Al Forno Restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island (www.alforno.com/ ) is churning out new age pizza creations with a modern spin. The difference between a typical pizza and an Al Forno pizza is one simple tweak, Al Forno puts the sauce on top of the cheese. Some people eat their pizza folded, some eat it rolled up, a couple of kooks even eat it crust edge first, but at Al Forno you eat pizza as if you were in a Dr. Seuss book. This may seem like a minimal change in the grand scheme of things, but by swapping the positions of two of the main components of a pizza, the dough is able to remain crisp and not be compromised by the wet sauce. Al Forno takes pizza to the next level, but does it in the most classy, elegant way possible.
As a precursor to our delightful meal at Enoteca Umberto (https://asherzeats.com/2016/04/16/enoteca-umberto/) , my Father and I decided to momentarily quench our hungers at Al Forno.
After entering Al Forno’s sophisticatedly clean interior, we were greeted by a friendly hostess who showed us to our table (which was upstairs), over-looking the picturesque Italian section of Providence. Once we finished scanning the succinct menu, my Father and I decided on the Fried Calamari Arrabbiata and the Margarita Pizza.
The Fried Calamari Arrabbiata at Al Forno was delectable. If you are unfamiliar with the term Arrabbiata, let me give you the low down. Arrabbiata literally means “angry” in Italian, and after indulging in a dish smothered in Arrabbiata sauce you are bound to understand why — it really packs a punch!
Arrabbiata sauce is a piquant red sauce abounding with morsels of garlic and bulbous pickled cherry peppers. The only way to truly get a sense the sauce, is to yield to the glassy fried calamari of Al Forno, served with an accompanying bowl of the spicy nectar. The final product is unspeakably delicious.
While the Fried Calamari Arrabbiata was delicious, the Margarita Pizza was definitely the focal point of the meal. As I mentioned before, the world famous grilled pizza at Al Forno is served with the sauce above the cheese, to prevent the delicate crust from becoming overly soggy from any rogue pizza sauce.
This method of creating pizza was truly ingenious to say the least. The thin crust was cooked to a crispy perfection, then cloaked in a hefty blanket of cheese, schmeared with several globs of tangy pomodoro sauce, doused in silky layer of olive oil, and smattered with a tangle of fresh herbs. I cannot stress enough how delicious this pizza was. There was only one messy setback — you have to slice the pizza yourself.
Al Forno is truly a gem in all senses of the word, and I would most definitely make it a goal to make a stop there if you ever get the chance. I would give it ZZZZ — 4 Z’s — Delicious!