Word comes this morning via the Village Voice/Fork in the Road that Williamsburg's Fornino is opening a location in Park Slope. It'll be on Fifth Avenue between Carroll and Garfield streets. If you're familiar with the area, it's in the space that was most recently Tempo.
It's a return to the neighborhood—and the space—for Fornino owner Michael Ayoub. He opened Cucina at the same address in 1990, long before Fifth Avenue was the gentrified restaurant row that it is now. According to the Voice, "There will also be an in-house store selling prepared foods, as well as homemade cheeses, pastas, and sauces. There will also be delivery."
My guess is that the in-house store might actually be the small space that's semi-attached to the main one and that used to house Tempo Presto, the take-out sandwich arm of the former Tempo.
This is great for Park Slopers. Fornino has long been one of our favorite pizzerias. As I wrote recently on Slice:
Fornino is a pizza that I think is underrated in a way. It's like the guy who runs it, Michael Ayoub, was just slightly ahead of his time. He opened it well ahead of the WFO trend, was doing the house-made mozzarella thing way before all these other pizzerias started stressing this as a perk, and he's been growing herbs and such in a little on-premises greenhouse from the beginning—predating the Roberta's people by a good number of years. But none of that stuff was "trendy" when he did it, so it's like he didn't become "known" for it the way some of these other places did. Still, the place is all kinds of busy and for a good reason. This is one of my favorite pizzas in the city. In a way, it's kind of nice that there's not a ton of FORNINO HYPE, because it still has a nice neighborhood this is my place kinda feel to it. There are three "generations" of pizza styles on the menu. You'll find something you like. The soppressata pie is a favorite of mine--and Ayoub's sort of the guy who kicked off this trend, too.
My one gripe about this opening is that for the last eight years I lived RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER from the old Cucina space ... The last year and a half Tempo has been closed, sitting vacant. And then, right after I move out of Park Slope, Ayoub announces the Park Slope Fornino? Hmmph.
Fornino Park Slope
256 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215 (Carroll/Garfield; map)