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Monday
Feb212011

Things Are Changing at Fornino

NY Times
I sat down with Fornino Park Slope's managing partner Chris Walsh over the weekend, and we had a chance to discuss the recent ownership shakeup as well as some upcoming changes to the restaurant. 

The most important issue discussed was the recent departure of founder and owner Michael Ayoub. "It was completely amicable, there's no hard feelings," Walsh said. "Dave Kearns bought Michael out. He was General Manager at Porter House for six years and at Judson Grill for seven years before that." Frank Ayoub, Michael's brother, is still co-owner, along with Walsh and Kearns. 

They've also rolled out an exciting new cocktail program, custom-designed by James Menite, the renowned mixologist who's also the bartender there every night but Tuesday and Sunday. The cocktail menu will be updated a few times a year to incorporate seasonal ingredients, and the wine bottles decorating the area behind the bar will soon be replaced by unusual spirits to highlight the shift in focus. There's also some thought being given to making the wine list Italian-only. 

For those who aren't a fan of the restaurant's decor, you'll be happy to hear that there's also a renovation of the bar area in store. According to Walsh, they'll be making it more "funky," with designs by Revamp on Flatbush Avenue.

If you've noticed recently that their grilled pizzas have gone from oval to round, there's a reason behind that, too. "The round pizza delivers," said Walsh. "We couldn't fit the oval one in a box. We're considering splitting the pizza menu in half, and letting diners decide if they want it round or Vinnie-style." (Vinnie-style refers to the oval pies served by Walsh's former partner at Scopa, the late Vinnie Scotto.)

Reader Comments (7)

too bad they caved in and started a kids' menu. Just the fact that they did that has kept me away

February 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Lots and lots of places have kids menus and you probably aren't even aware of it, because if you don't ask for it specifically, they don't bring it. Your decision to stay away because they have a kids menu doesn't bode well for your intelligence.

February 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I agree - how on earth does a kids' menu change your opinion of a place? Especially when the kids' menu is mostly just smaller portions at a lower cost. It just makes sense. The first time we went there, they didn't have the kids' menu, and there was no way my daughter was going to finish the huge bowl of ravioli. Now she can get a nice small serving of the same thing, and I don't have to pay 15 bucks for it. Where is the problem with that??

I'm wondering who has a problem with their decor? I love the old photographs, especially the giant one of the multitude of nets on the long meadow.

February 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wish they'd bring back the chickpea fries and vegetal pizza. Was my favorite meal in PS!

February 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

on the clock. if things were going well original owner wouldn't have left. i give em 6 more months.

February 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

RIP Fornino Park Slope

February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

A kids' menu changes a person's view of a place because they don't like kids. In other words, the person does not WANT to sit near your noisy little ravioli-eating daughter. They would rather go to a place that DISCOURAGES the presence of kids. I myself have kids, so I don't not share that point of view. But, if you are not familiar with it already, you should be aware of the robust anti-kid feeling that exists at restaurants, especially among the few non-breeders in Park Slope.

February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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