Sun-Thu, noon-10pm; Fri-Sat, noon-midnight
6 at 77th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
67th St. to 86th St., FDR Dr. to Fifth Ave.
Among the restaurants packed cheek-by-jowl on the block, Al Forno has become the magnet for families. Though the space doesn’t obviously cater to children, the plastic-covered chairs and familiar food—mostly pizza and pasta—make it a good bet for kids as long as they’ve outgrown booster seats. The modest dining room is warmed by its copper-colored ceiling and the glow from the namesake brick oven in back. Pizza, cooked in this oven, is the strong suit. Starting with either a traditional pie with mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil, or a white pie with a ricotta or mozzarella base, you can add any of a dozen toppings to your order. No pineapple or gravlax options here; roasted peppers are about as fancy as the toppings get. The crust is nicely balanced between crispy and chewy. The pastas have a similarly straight-ahead approach, with choices like lasagna, pasta Bolognese, and ravioli. They're generously sauced and a bit softer than al dente; those cooked with olive oil can be overly oily. Family portions are a bargain, as a dish to serve three, or comfortably, four, costs just a dollar or two more than two individual servings. Diners also often share the tiramisu, a G-rated version with sweet cream, spongy ladyfingers, and a maraschino cherry.Recommended Dishes