Magazine article The New Yorker

Amorina; Tables for Two

Magazine article The New Yorker

Amorina; Tables for Two

Article excerpt

Amorina is a study in contradictions. The bright lights, set in mismatched fixtures, the neon sign in the window, and the takeout service seem to indicate a neighborhood pizza joint, but the relatively high prices--twelve dollars for most of the individual pies--seem more in line with the artisanal aspirations of Franny's, another lofty-minded pizza place, two blocks over, on Flatbush Avenue. (On the other hand, Amorina also offers a takeout special, listed on a blackboard behind the counter: two slices and a drink for five dollars.) The Italian memorabilia on the walls--vintage ice-cream and soda ads, a map of Umbria and Le Marche, receipts from the cafe that the grandmother of the owner, Albano Ballerini, operated in Italy--speak of tradition, but the menu includes such unconventional offerings as the Giallorossa, with dried cherries, nutmeg, and creme fraiche.

Ruth Kaplan, the pizzaiola, produces almost perfectly charred and crispy crusts, and creates their toppings with an eye to detail: thinly sliced, almost transparent zucchini laid out like an emerald mosaic and laced with pesto; atop the tricolore pizza, a heap of arugula with a dusting of salt. A Gorgonzola pie with pears and figs was creamy and only slightly sweet, despite a drizzle of dark honey, while a Siciliana pie successfully married the acidic tang of orange slices to lightly caramelized onions and fennel. …

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