Located just north of downtown Cincinnati in the Hyde Park area, Forno Osteria + Bar is a great find for refined, yet comfortable, Italian food. The restaurant features a long curved bar and plenty of seating indoors and out in a rustic atmosphere with modern finishes. It’s a beautiful place for an impromptu dinner or a special occasion. Celebrating a birthday, we started with the Black Plum Fizz (plum shrub, St. Germain, prosecco) and a Limonata (blueberry-thyme syrup, vodka, comtratto bianco). They were both refreshing and good examples of a small, but interesting cocktail menu.
The menu has a good selection of modern Italian flair with starters, pastas, mains, sides and pizzas. We always love a good meat and cheese starter and their Antipasto Italiano was perfect. The house-made pickled vegetables gave the right amount of crunch and contrast to cut through the fatty deliciousness of the salumi and truffled mozzarella. If you haven’t had a pickled caper berry before, you’re going to want to now!
Although the entrees all looked amazing, we wanted to sample several things. We settled on one of their signature pizzas made in a 900-degree oven. Sausage and caramelized onion doesn’t sound like anything exciting, but I assure you it was! The crust was perfect and crispy topped with a bright tomato sauce, mozzarella, house-made Italian sausage and caramelized onions. It’s not your everyday pizza and it’s absolutely worth ordering!
We had two sides that could have been my whole meal. The Wild Mushroom and Mascarpone Risotto was rich, creamy and full of mushrooms. It was earthy, perfectly al dente and a good portion for a side. The Roman Style Artichokes were also worth ordering again. Topped with prosciutto crudo and Italian parsley, we could have eaten multiple bowls of these!
Our service was great – thanks Delia! It’s not surprising that the owners of Via Vite, another one of my favorites in Cincinnati, have created this beautiful experience. Chef Stefano Carne executed each dish perfectly and definitely has two new fans after last night! Check out their menu at fornoosteriabar.com and make a reservation right away, you won’t be disappointed.