The first time I tried to have a pizza at Forno Italia, the place had been reduced to rubble by a complete renovation. I worried that the wood-burning pizza oven I had heard so much about would not be part of the new restaurant. I needn't have worried. What makes Forno ltalia's pizza so good is the gorgeous oven, a skilled pizzaiolo, and the house-made mozzarella, which is so good that the proprietors wholesale it to other Italian restaurants and pizzerias in the know. The pies are individual Neapolitan-style beauties, with a chewy, puffy crust that is pretty swell. I usually have the Margherita here, but I've always been tempted to order the Southern pizza, topped with spicy sausage and American and Swiss cheeses. It ain't exactly authentic, but I bet it's tasty.
Address: 43-19 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria NY 11105 (b/n 43rd and 45th Streets; map)