A Hamburger Today
Michael Ayoub (left), the pizzaiolo behind Williamsburg's Fornino, will be opening a Manhattan location on November 6.
To be called Cronkite Pizzeria & Wine Bar, it will be located at 133 Norfolk Street on the Lower East Side [map].
"The neon sign is on its way as we speak," Mr. Ayoub said by phone from the new pizzeria.
Unlike Fornino, which uses a custom-built gas-assisted wood oven, Cronkite's pizza cooker will be a custom-made gas-fired brick-lined oven from Marsal & Sons. "I wanted to do a wood oven here, but the DEP didn't want to hear any of it," Mr. Ayoub said. "I can get the temperature with gas700 degrees on the deckand I'll still use DOC tomatoes, make my own mozzarella, use all the same artisanal ingredients as Fornino. The difference is going to be negligible."
What will be different is that Mr. Ayoub adds a significant wine element to this venture. He has hired former Jean-Georges sommelier Raoul Segarra as manager and wine director and will have 70 wines on the list, 18 by the glass.
Desserts at Cronkite will be more playful. Zeppole with Nutella is a planned item, and Mr. Ayoub has also purchased a cotton candy machine for the restaurant.
The joint will offer delivery and takeout, and will be open 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
One last question, though. Why Cronkite?
"It's a bit of a joke. One of my business partners thought it was the farthest thing from 'pizza' you could get," Mr. Ayoub said. "He's an artist."