Fortina, Yonkers, NY 9/22

I went on Friday night but with a group, so I wasn’t able to order what I wanted:

My husband surprised me with a birthday dinner at Fortina on 9/22. Since it was a large group (12) they had to pre order dinner from a list. They served us family style:
Apps:
Fried Meatballs
Arugula Salad
Mushroom Arancini
Wood-Fired Cauliflower
Mains:
All’ Amatriciana Pizza
San Gennaro Pizza
Wood-Fired Paccheri
Whole Wheat Cavatelli
Dessert:
1 Tartufo
1 Cannoli
1 Brown Butter Bread Pudding

My takes:
Reservation was for 7pm, it was so crowded and there was a 45 min wait for tables. We walked right in to the back, where my surprise party was waiting for me. There was another party in the back, about the same number of people. The place is loud, real loud, like not have a conversation loud. If I was 20 again, I would have loved the place and the vibe. Me now, I like good food and good conversation. Expensive! Well wine was $15/glass. Drinks were $15, beer in a can was $9-16! Crazy.
Apps were good, I enjoyed everything. Would have liked bread on the table. Dinner was ok. Pizza was mush in the middle, towards the crust was delish. Pasta was ok. The Paccheri (rigatoni) was off. One piece in the same dish was perfectly cooked, one was so al dente that I thought I was going to break a tooth. Cavatelli was ok, not my fav. Desserts, bread pudding was delish, tartufo looked and tasted like it was bought elsewhere. $10 for a tiny cup, crazy.
I forgot to take pictures because we were so hungry…it took 45 minutes for our dinner order to come after they cleared our apps, even though it was pre-ordered.
Would I go back, yes, in a few months. Once all the kinks are worked out, and only in the day or early evening.
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I remember when Armonk opened. Lots of kinks in service- lots of free pizza for me! I’m surprised about the pizza in Yonkers. Maybe they are spreading themselves too thin!

Thanks for the report! We have been talking about going soon, but given the kinks in service, etc., perhaps it’s better to wait. I also really really hate noisy/party-vibe restaurants, so it’s possible that Fortina will just never be for me. I happen to have pizza dough rising for a 3-day fridge ferment in anticipation of the weekend, so maybe I don’t need Fortina anyway, LOL!

Thanks for the review! Yes - the loudness and the extreme price tags keep me from going to Fortina often, although I always have a great time there. I know their cocktail prices are astronomical, but $10 for a fluted cup of tortoni is just nuts. (excuse the pun!) I make biscuit tortoni every Christmas and I need just $10 to make enough tortoni cups for my whole family!

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Thanks for reporting back! Sounds like they have some issues to work out. The Armonk location gets really crowded on the weekend. Last time our friend made reservations and we still had to wait almost a half hour for our table. They came around with free booze (sangria) and food, which did a lot to placate the waiting hordes.

They sent out three desserts for twelve people? I could eat an entire bread pudding by myself. I can’t imagine sharing it four ways. Weird. I’ve always wondered about the group dining there. I can’t figure out if it’s worth the $.

Oh. And their beer prices are outrageous. My husband, a consummate beer drinker, even skips beer there in favor of a cocktail. We stopped getting the paccheri after a few crunchy experiences like yours. I guess they do it in the oven and it gets too hard on top.

I actually had them send me the prix-fixe menus when we were considering going there for our HOdown because we weren’t sure how large a party we would have, and I thought they seemed a bit pricey. Brunch was $32PP with the “basic level” items and $42PP with more expensive items like burrata or a prosciutto platter, and since everything is served “family style” there’s really no guarantee as to how much food you’d get or whether they would honor requests for additional desserts or whatever.

Been to taco express in Yonkers and looked in on Fortina (have tried Fortina at other locations). I want to like both of them. What they are,are fun places to gather, even at it’s loudest it is what is expected there,so can excuse it. With the demise of truly affordable restaurants, these places are the new mid-price meal. Unfortunately (imho) both suffer from a case of the emperor’s new clothes. While i appreciate that Fortina takes items and up-scales them, they charge far more than the marginal improvement upscale toppings bring about,many of the better (old school) pizza places can/are serving a more satisfying food.As far as taco project, I would take Teca’s tacos Truck) over them and save$$.

We finally made it to Fortina Yonkers last night! We had to go to the WestMed Urgent Care in the complex (which was a surprisingly good experience) and decided to pop in for dinner after. It was around 8:30pm and despite the frigid weather, it was still relatively busy. It was pretty noisy, too - I can only imagine how loud it must get when filled to capacity.

We ordered a glass of wine each, the cauliflower in romesco to share, branzino for DH and chicken parm for me. All very tasty! I was curious about the chicken parm after reading so much about it and it was very interesting - it tasted as though the chicken had been formed into a patty with meat glue or something, then cooked sous vide for an exceptionally tender texture. Their tomato sauce was bright and fresh tasting, too. DH’s fish was wonderful - crispy skin and lots of smoky flavor, with an ultra sharp vinaigrette that really complimented the squash, kale and pepitas. The cauliflower was a ridiculously small portion for $10, but it was damn good - again, smoky and charred, with a lightly spicy romesco. The only meh element was the salad that came with my chicken - the dressing was incredibly bland. Total for the two of us was around $80 before tip, not too bad, although our entrees happened to be on the cheap side. We’d definitely go back, but hope to avoid prime time crowds.

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While i enjoyed the chicken parm (at rye ridge), ultimately decided the sauce/cheese made it. The chicken itself was barely noticeable.Also while a large portion- it was also a large price. Hard not to be good with alot of red sauce and cheese.Decided would not have it again. Fortina despite having good/decent food is more about the pleasantries/festivities. Take away the atmosphere and it is an expensive pizza/italian. At its best for a large group or party

I didn’t think that the chicken parm was all that expensive at $18 for such a large portion. They have pizzas that cost more.

The appetizer prices are high. however.

Yes, you have to be in the mood for the noise at Fortina! But I will say, it’s usually a fun atmosphere.

Agreed - the chicken parm seemed reasonable. Their apps, sides and pizzas, though, are pretty petite for the prices they’re charging.

They actually had an inexpensive ricotta crostini appetizer that I liked last time we were there, but when I checked the menu yesterday it was gone. I’d love to try the burrata appetizer but not for $18!

I’m all about the pizza.

That is my "problem " with fortina - compared to a good (old fashioned) pizza/restaurant,take pelham village pizza- the prices are higher and more “upscale”,but basically the same food. I understand it is more restaurant than pizzeria,but the actual food is very much the same. I guess it is more like fast food vs. inexpensive restaurant - paying for atmosphere - not a problem,but should be recognized. I do like fortina,but to a large extent for the fun/festivity factor.

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Not sure where to post this:
New York live a lifestyle show on NBC just broadcast a video piece on National pizza day 2018, included was Fortina’s newest location in Brooklyn. They will most likely post the video to their website in a couple of days.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold