DUE FORNI – First Bites

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Is the pizza at Due Forni (do-AY FOR-nee) as good as Settebello’s? It depends.

Sorry for the lawyer-like answer, but it’s the only way to respond to the Neapolitan pies here. The crust is good…very good in fact…possessed of just the right amount of chewy-yet-firm texture. Serious ingredients lie atop it (like its cross-town rival) like boffo bufala mozz, good tomatoes, and the freshest basil.

What these pies don’t have is the smoky, charred crustiness characterizing the competition. Depending how you feel about these things, this is either a plus or a minus. To our way of thinking, it is a savvy move on Chef Carlos Buscaglia’s part. His twin, 900 degree, state-of-the-art gas ovens turn out perfect pies in minutes, without the hassle of constantly re-jiggering the heat source, and if DF becomes as busy as we think it will be, he’s going to need all the manpower he has to keep those pizzas flying in and out of them.

The thin, “Roman” crust pie (not pictured) is appropriately cracker-like and topped with good San Daniele prosciutto, arugula, and a vin cotto (balsamico-like, sweet vinegar) reduction — making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. While we’re not a fan of these saltine-like creations, many are, and you won’t find a better version within ten miles.

We gave Buscaglia a little grief for serving tomatoes in his otherwise good panzanella (bread salad) in February (“But that’s what people want,” he sighed), so we’ll give him a pass on this seasonal transgression, and forgive his sins because his turkey polpette (meatballs) are so well seasoned, and because they sit in a superior, San Marzano marinara. And his semolina gnocchi with smoked bacon was a clear, unabashed, unapologetic apotheosis of smoky pork and light, creamy goodness.

The menu here is decidedly small — owing to the relatively tiny kitchen facilities — highlightling this as first and foremost a pizza restaurant, with most other options operating as adjuncts to the main event. But it’s a testament to Buscaglia’s skill that every item is done with a degree of precision heretofore unseen among our neighborhood pizzerias. More than a few can now consider this to be the standard-setter for serious pies, and we don’t think it’s too far a stretch to say, as with D.O.C.G. on the Strip, Due Forni may be raising the bar in a number of ways for Eye-talians off of it.

Desserts are only three in number, and we tried just one: whipped, sweetened bufala ricotta drizzled with honey and candied pistachios, that will give the Greek yogurt specialty at Milos a run for your taste buds. It is simplicity personified (just like Milos’ improbably thick, honey-drenched version), addictive beyond belief, and shows what a great chef can do with a few good ingredients.

Our staff didn’t pay for its meal, but did leave a $30 tip.


3555 South Town Center Drive Suite 105

Las Vegas, NV 89135



21 thoughts on “DUE FORNI – First Bites

  1. Sorry to be a stickler on the name. It’s named Settebello not Settebello’s. You may have been referring to it in the possessive, but you did not refer to the other restaurant in the possessive. And I’m not a lawyer, just an unlicensed and non practicing dental hygienist. Clearly, I’m not an English teacher, either.
    Either way, Settebello is the best pizzeria in town.

  2. Due Forni is not bad if you live in Summerlin and there is nothing else around. My problem with the neapolitan pizza’s were the crust, it was super-bland, I thought it was really lacking in salt. The decor was alittle odd, it was like being in an Austin Powers movie. It was interesting.

  3. This was the best food I’ve had in Vegas in a while, on or off the strip: excellent ingredients arranged simply, perfectly balanced. (The quality of the cheese alone impressed me, both on the margherita and in the ricotta desert.) For the money, it’s an unbelievable steal.

  4. ELV, this is the first time in so many reviews that we have different opinions. The ingredients of the pizza are excellent, they couldn’t be better. The way they put them together needs lots and lots of work. In my opinion this pizza is not even in the same category of Settebello or DOGC. The way the tomato is seasoned makes it very forgettable but that is not the biggest problem. The dough needs to go: it is highly indigestible, it sit in my stomach all night and it just taste out of balance, it does not belong with those ingredients. After a bite of it you don’t want another one.
    Also for a neighborhood place their prices are way out of line, we live in a place where now we can have a world class meal every time we feel like it. The bufalo ricotta with honey ? You mean the tons of honey with some bufalo ricotta? Impossible! And the service was really bad.
    However it is not hopeless.
    If they can find a way to come up with the right dough, have a little exposure to the right products (maybe a trip to Italy) , if they would take the time and the effort to teach their pizzaioli how to do it, if they would lower their prices 25-30%, then it would be a winner and I won’t have to drive all the way to Green Valley. But if that doesn’t happen, I don’t think there will be any panettone for them this year :)

  5. Great place to go if you are on a low sodium diet! I’ve been there twice and everything has been underseasoned…and I mean everything. Wine prices are laughable, Cloudy Bay Sauv Blanc for $90 and Tritono Malbec for $112!?!?!? These wines can be had on “the strip” for 30% less.

  6. Its great to see these restaurants pursue this culturally authentic pizza but its pretty shitty when all they produce is imatations. Only time will tell.

    But what is terribly cliched is the panzella with huge thick strips of raw red onion with not enough bread bites, good EVO and too much other stuff, like mushy tomatoes. Cut those onions thin on the meat slicer or mandoline

    DOCG and Settebello, preferrably DOCG is light years ahead of the pizza mafia game.

  7. It appears that DOCG and Settebello is serving up Sour Grapes as well, because some of these readers have been sampling them.
    Settebello better than Due Forni?!
    Do they even use authentic Bufala Mozzarella? Because Due Forni does.
    I don’t know how much more “authentic” you can get than that.

  8. Well very sadden by all the comparisons to Settlebello. The difference in Due Forni is in the very detailed oriented way the kitchen runs, and the wait staff. Gosh people you really do not know QUAILTY if it hit you in the face! I think everyone needs to give them a min and this place is going to rock!!! As a wise man once said ” perfect pizza takes love and some great wine” ….And that’s what they have!
    FYI the chef has studied in Italy…..Haters!

  9. I come in from LA quite regularly for work and always stay in the Summerlin area. I often read your site, John, to see what I should try next. Read about Due Forni about two or three weeks ago and tried it my first night back in town and then two more times during the week. This place is a much needed shot in the arm to the frighteningly uninspired local culinary cabal. Reading some of these reviews they’ve obviously ruffled a few feathers. Good for them.
    The not caesar “caesar” was excellent. A crisp and delicious garlic/ parmesan bomb. Although, I could have done without the roasted tomatoes.
    The bufala stracciatella with roasted pequillos was outstanding. Major kudos for sourcing this amazing cheese. Think burrata but only the good stuff. I can rarely find it when in Italy let alone stateside.
    The pizzas were top tier. The roman crust was truly cracker thin but held up to their fantastic rendition of the neapolitan classic, prosciutto e rucola. And I might actually take my family to Vegas this weekend so my wife can try the Tartufo.
    I suppose I could get a cheaper glass of wine if I wanted to drink it at home by myself.
    I’ve been coming to Vegas for years, eaten hundreds of meals on the strip and off, and yes, even at those other pizza places. I was greatly impressed by Due Forni. The competition isn’t really even close.

  10. John, you are so right. The turkey meatballs are to die for!
    And the bufala ricotta desert is almost food porn.

    I used to think Settebello was good before I went to Due Forni.
    Now I know what I’ve been missing all these years.
    Cheers Chef Buscaglia!

  11. Service:
    Service at Due Forni is a mirror image of customer service you would receive at 5 star restaurants in hotels such as Bellagio, Wynn, etc. Servers are warm, friendly and an experience in itself.
    For an appetizer I had Turkey meat balls with a zesty tomato sauce. Meat was cooked perfectly; it was juicy and flavorful, which was nicely balanced by a fresh tomato sauce.
    For a main corse I had a Margherita pizza, which had bufala mozzarella, san marzano tomato, fresh basil, frantoia oil on a nice thin crust pizza.
    Cost was relatively cheap for the quality and amount of food. Can’t comment on the selection and price of alcohol since i don’t drink.
    For dessert I ordered a cappucino, which was a perfect ending to the whole experience.
    Will I be back? Yes!

  12. I was visiting over the weekend from cali and i stopped by Due Forni, and i’m glad i did. What a great place, I had such a great time the food was awesome never had something like that before it was so yummy. Not to mention the great selection of wines they have and the bar setup ( real cool place to hang out). The atmosphere was great and the staff was so pleasant and friendly made me feel like home. I always go to vegas and Due Forni is going to be my stop. I definitely would recommend it to everyone to try. DUE FORNI ROCKS :)

  13. Always appreciate your take, John.

    I must be honest, I have never been to Settlebello. I haven’t heard of it until today. I feel a little humbled as a Vegas native to be out-of-it on this one, but make no apologies.

    Let’s be honest. There are going to be a lot of people making pizza. There are a lot of people making hamburgers. BUT, very few do it with the confidence and grace of Due Forni. They’ve really taken the experience of a resort eatery and shoved it into a suburban plaza. It’s a getaway where you need one most- and the authenticity is genuine regardless of being amid big name competitors and big box brands.

    Due Forni is in its own class. The atmosphere, the food, the people behind the place. As personal friends of the owners I take a special interest in defending their place. They’re building a brand that is supremely interested in being superior, down to their flatware. Knowing the behind-the-scenes stories helps to bias my decision, for sure. But, even then, the food speaks for itself, the atmosphere is surprisingly refreshing and the uniqueness is all its own.

    Cheers to Due Forni, truely in a class of their own- regardless of the level of crispiness of the pie’s crust.


  14. Looks like some ringers in this thread for sure ;)

    Kudos to this place for trying to bring some sophistication to the neighborhood, but they are aiming a little high for what actually comes to the table and glass.

    Pizza is fine but not even close in tastiness to Settebello or Grimaldi’s or even Rocco’s. Meatballs and sauce were under-seasoned the night I went. Soggy oven-dried tomatoes in the Caesar were weird and unnecessary. Wine prices are too much for a Summerlin strip mall restaurant.

    Not sure how this place will fare once the novelty wears off. Anyone remember Tre at Boca Park??? Yeah, me neither…

  15. We went, we saw, we ate, and it was good.
    Especially the fregola pasta that comes with the shrimp appetizer. Not a fan of the shrimp itself, but the pasta was very tasty. Even my 10 month old was eating it up and she only has 3 teeth so far!
    Living on the West side, sometimes its just too far to go to Settebello, and this place has a nice variety of salads and a few things to wet the palate other than just pizza.

  16. Today I ordered the Margarita and my stepson had the Due Forni. Both were far better than I expected. Although I do agree with Settabello being better than Due Forni only because of the wood flavor Settabello’s oven imparts. Otherwise, this is the best pizza on the westside. My margarita pizza was otherwise perfect and far better than anything else I’ve eaten in town. In will be returning often.

  17. I respect all posts… but at post#14… wow… just by reading that you know this is not about the quality of the food or the atmosphere or the wine… this is personal. Somebody is afraid of losing business so they opt to bully somebody else’s dream.

  18. I went back again for the fourth time and the experience was entirely different from prior. This time, the meatballs were cold and the marinara sauce tasted burnt not bright and tangy like I would expect from San Marzanos. In addition, The pizza crust was flat and dense, not bubbly, burnt and chewy like prior . Finally, The server palmed the rim of my glass when picking it up for a refill. I hope this was an isolated incident and not transition.

  19. The food is amazing but the beverage program needs some serious work!! D.O.C.G. does thier best to offer classic representations of Italian wines, beers, & spirit selections. HEY, DUE FORNI… If you are going to be authentic go fo the gold….come on BANFI and ANTINORI….BORING!!!

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