At a time when French cuisine appears to be back en vogue, Auvergne native Laurent Tourondel is offering his take on...pizza. It's never out of style to develop a passion for pizza in this city, though that's not all Tourondel will be creating for the wood-burning ovens. Sunday suppers with the chef's Italian grandmother served as inspiration for the menu, which hits on many Italian touchstones beyond a wood-fired pie.
Still, it's the pizza that's getting the early buzz, having been in development with Tourondel and his team for the last five years. Some of the smaller, heavily blistered pies favor interesting ingredients like squash, burrata and spicy oil (Summer Squash, $12) or shishito peppers and fennel pollen (Esposito's Sausage, $14). But there's a Soppressata Picante ($13) with tomato, mozzarella and Sicilian oregano to silence ingenuity haters. If nothing else, the gleaming copper ovens are a sight to behold.
Also out of the fire: Veal & Pork Meatalls "Al Forno" with focaccia ($17) and a Wood Oven Roasted Chicken ($22) accompanied by charred broccoli rabe and confit lemon. Veering away from the smoke, fresh pastas include a seasonal Fusilli ($18) tossed with spicy sausage, bitter greens, pine nuts, chiles and pecorino and a Black Sea Bass ($26) served with sauteed red endive, pine nuts and romesco.
Like so many of the city's Big Name Chef restaurants, L'Amico opens adjacent to a hotel, the Eventi Hotel on 6th Avenue, to be specific. Peer inside through the ceiling-high windows adn you'll see an open kitchen with those special ovens, a piece by artist Ruby Sky Stiller and lots of warm woods and brown hues.
849 Avenue of the Americas, (212) 201-4065; website