Al Forno Ferruzza

$ Pizza

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True, a ramshackle purple booth in a parking lot that’s beset by afternoon downtown traffic hardly seems romantic. But in an 800-degree oven inside this Sicilian-inspired food booth, a certain culinary romance unfolds daily, occasionally releasing the scent of white and airy dough rising, of mozzarella browning, of sweet tomato sauce bubbling—an ardent triumvirate of ingredients fated for each other. There’s also a certain lovestruck look on the faces of the customers: A construction worker appears to be daydreaming about that first bite of his calzone, its fluffy dough enveloping luscious, warm ricotta; caramelized onions and peppers; and bright, tangy tomato sauce. A professorial-looking man waits for his panino rustica to come out of the oven so that he can savor the crunchy yet moist bread that will sandwich mozzarella, caramelized onions, arugula, and fresh basil. A woman in heels has just ordered a pepperoni pizza—a pie that comes perfectly crisped. And there are others in line at this rustic shack, which is owned by a 24-year-old Sicilian-American baker. Each day, they wait longingly for eggplant Parmesan or pizza or lasagna to come out of the oven. A longing that, of course, simply makes the heart grow fonder.

Last updated: 01/16/2014