Fortina in Armonk: First Look

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Fortina in Armonk is just the kind of restaurant everyone wants to eat at these days: casual, beautiful and serving a simple, delicious — sharable — menu. No wonder there’s been so much buzz.

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The restaurant is set to open later this week. But I was there a few days early and got a sneak peak.

With polished concrete floors, walls made of charred cypress and accents of raw steel and exposed beams — this is one cool-looking place.

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“I’m not a classically trained interior designer,” says chef Christian Petroni, who owns the restuarant with partners John Nealon and Rob Krauss. “But if I had to call it anything, I would call it a cantina-meets-a modern industrial building.”

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That works! And as for the menu, expect simple and familiar. Petroni says: “straightforward Italian, cooked in wood-fired ovens.”

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“Heavy on antipasti, really beautiful fresh salads, a real serious salumi-fromaggi program — meats and cheeses — about six or seven pizzas,” says Petroni. “And then, simple entrees, wood-roasted, a la carte proteins, contorni, sides. You assemble it the way you like.”

I think I’ll take one of those pizzas!

 

 

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And that’s what Christian and his partners are hoping for.

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“Just come in, grab a quick pie with a cold beer or a nice bowl of pasta, and just feel comfortable coming in and knowing you can get some good wholesome food and be on your way.”

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Before Fortina, Petroni cooked at Peniche in White Plains and was a chef and general manager of Barcelona, the chain of tapas bars in Connecticut. The experience, he says, helped him drop all pretenses when it comes to his new place.

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“I’ve gotten over the whole young chef, ego thing,” he says.

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Soon enough, those customers — me among them — will be filling the tables at the restaurant.     Petroni says he’s ready.

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“No frills, just sit down, and get ready to be taken care of.”

Fortina, 17 Maple Ave., Armonk. 914-273-0900, http://www.fortinapizza.com

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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