A Smashing Success

2:30 a.m. I'm a little tipsy and a bit tired as I write this. Please forgive the lack of logical structure and/or spelling mistakes that are sure to follow. —Ed.

Photo by Youngna, from her Flickr photostream

The inaugural Gothamist-Slice Pizza Party was great! Thanks to everyone who turned out. Thanks to Tien, Jen, and Jake over at Gothamist for helping organize the event. And biggest thanks of all to Michael Ayoub and his staff at Fornino, who pumped out tons of pizza for us all. By Mr. Ayoub's estimates, the crowd of about 110 people ate slightly more than 200 12-inch pies. Two. Hundred.

Mr. Ayoub and his staff whipped up and served up 16 different pizzas, dispatching at least ten of each at a time. The two most popular of the evening (the truffle pie and the classic Margherita) went out in batches of 20. If you simply could not keep track of what you were eating, here's a menu with checkmarks indicating what was served (with a note that graphically indicates my favorite pie of the night):

Gothamist-Slice Pizza PartyOne guest had a good idea and used the menu as a sort of checklist to track which slices he ate. This illustrates one unique thing about this party: It allowed everyone to sample a huge variety of pies in one evening—many more than you'd ever be able to sample with even a large group of dining companions.

It all started with fire. (Hasn't that been the case for millennia?)

Pizzas were put into the wood-fired oven. Pizzas were skillfully manipulated with a pizza peel in that wood-fired oven to compensate for hot spots.

Pizzas were pulled out of that wood-fired oven, pizzas were sliced, pizzas were placed on plates and ferried about the joint by some amazingly patient and agile servers. Did you ever see that Simpsons where Homer goes to hell and gets sent to the Ironic Punishments Division, where he is then strapped to a chair and forced to eat doughnut after doughnut? That's kinda like Monday's party, except pizza. And, like Homer in that episode, we handily devoured whatever the staff sent our way.

All the pies were great, but the superstar hit of the night was the Tartufo, the pizza with black winter truffles on it. (That's right, dude, truffles.) As Mark Horowitz, a contributor to this site, said: "Truffle pizza....a unique experience. Chef Michael told me these truffles just arrived two days ago from Italy. I would guess the bowl of truffles on the prep table must have contained several hundred dollars worth of truffles. All I can say is thanks, Michael, for letting party-goers have an opportunity to taste this wonderful invention." [The bowl contained $600 of truffles, according to Tien over on Gothamist. —Ed.]

What was also wonderful was meeting so many people I had only known through comments or e-mails, such as Mr. Horowitz above. And if you have never commented or written Slice an e-mail, no biggie; I enjoyed meeting you no less! In fact, looking back, I wish I had met more people, but I mostly stayed up front, taking photos and such. Next time, I'm going to have to mingle more.

Here are some people I met. (From left: Sound Bites; Eat, Drink, One Woman; and K.B., who made me promise not to link her blog, since there's nothing there yet.)

I was worried that things wouldn't go so well or that people would get upset and complain that they didn't get their money's worth, but Fornino did a great job of pumping out pizza after pizza, and the special mozzarella-making demonstration seemed to wow the crowd to no end.


Here, Mr. Ayoub melts the curds, which he will then stretch into mozzarella. Matty took some video that I'll be posting here when I get the link from him.

Everyone seemed to really love the mozzarella-making demo. People standing close in were lucky enough to get some fresh mozzarella right as it was ready...


Gothamist-Slice Pizza PartySome of the fresh mozzarella was wrapped in prosciutto (right).

At the end of the evening, Mr. Ayoub and his staff unleashed spumoni on us. It was a nice and unexpected touch.

OK. I'm really tired. I'm going to bed. I'll post some more pix and thoughts on Tuesday, which, I guess, is actually today. So, er, later today. Yeah.

If you have any pix or you blogged this on your site, leave a note in the comments or e-mail me with your link. If you Flickred any pix, would you be so kind as to tag them "Gothamist-Slice Pizza Party"?

What a Pizza Party! [Gothamist]
Gothamist and SliceNY Pizza Party 2006 [Raspberry Heaven]
Any Way You Slice It [Sound Bites]
Gothamist-Slice Pizza Party [TienMao.com]
Gothamist-Slice Pizza Party [VJArmy.com]
Lots of Delicious [Youngna.com]
Don't Call It a Comeback [Youthlarge's Bibimbop]
Gothamist-Slice Pizza Party [Flickr]

More pix TK

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