Self-proclaimed Bwog food editor Vivian Zhou visits Fumo, originally located in Hamilton Heights with new second location on 108 and Broadway, and consumes a lot of carbs. Read on to find out if it was worth it.
I first found out about Fumo’s new opening on Infatuation’s New Restaurant Openings, and was surprised to see that a previously acclaimed Italian restaurant was opening so close to campus. Fumo’s original location is close to City College, on 139th street in Harlem. It garnered a lot of positive reviews on Yelp and other foodie websites, even making it onto the Michelin Guide.
Fumo serves wood oven pizzas, pastas, and brunch. The Morningside Heights location opened around 2 weeks ago, offering $10 pastas on Sunday nights, free flow brunch cocktails for $18.50, and half off on bottles of wine on Mondays. Similar to the original location, the decor is very bright with white walls, marbled countertops, plants, and bright lights. Just sitting in the restaurant makes you feel like you’re at a hip new Italian place in Soho– people sipping on mimosas, a visible smoothie/juice blender at the countertop…you get the picture. Unlike Soho, the prices of the food are not outrageous. During normal hours, pizza come at around $15, pastas are at around $17. In other words, skip the Sweetgreen and come here.
I went during brunch hours, but the regular menu was still offered. The brunch menu had typical brunch items like eggs benedict, avocado toast, french toast, steak & eggs, chicken & waffles, etc. They also offer very interesting pizza flavors for brunch: lox, vodka,, buffalo, and chicken ranch. The free-flow option is for 1.5 hours, and for $18.50, you could have unlimited mimosas and bloody mary’s. It’s midterm season and I still had to study after, so I passed on the free-flow. I also had the option to order from the regular menu with classics such as Italian rice balls (arancini), baby artichokes, penne vodka, rigatoni bolognese, margherita pizza, and more. We ended up ordering meatballs with grilled garlic bread to start, and the breakfast carbonara (carbonara with an egg) and the parma pizza with prosciutto, arugula, parmigianno, fontina, and truffle oil.
We started off with meatballs. Maybe I was just really hungry, or maybe I’m biased because I’ve recently developed a meatball obsession, but the meatballs were cooked to perfection. It was a pretty large portion for a starter. The meat was so tender and flavorful and there was a large amount of sauce to go with it. The garlic bread wasn’t too oily and it actually felt kind of…healthy? Strongly recommend.
The next was the Breakfast Carbonara. This was essentially carbonara pasta with a fried egg on top. I had just watched a YouTube video the night before on how to make carbonara (it’s actually REALLY complicated), so I had to get this dish. I wouldn’t say their carbonara was outstanding or anything special. It was just carbonara, and it was a little on the bland side. The egg was a good idea, but only the first few bites of the pasta have egg. Afterwards, it’s just normal carbonara. The egg also wasn’t runny enough to get the egg flavor throughout the pasta. Still, the pasta was pretty good and creamy, and a good level of al dente.
The Parma pizza was recommended by our waiter. It’s a white pizza with prosciutto, arugula, parmiggiano, a fontina base, and truffle oil on top. I could smell the truffle oil immediately. I usually really don’t like white pizzas because they always end up really heavy, and the tomato always balances out the heavy cheese. However, this white pizza was done really well. What really stood out was the softness of the dough. The dough was stretchy and an appropriate thickness, and very mochi-like in texture. I really liked the fontina base and the pizza didn’t feel overwhelming despite all the cheese it had.
Overall, Fumo is a great place to have a sort-of fancy meal with friends near campus when you don’t want to eat in the dining hall but don’t want to spend too much money at a place like Marlow Bistro. My friend said that this was comparable to Marlow, but I would have to disagree, as you all know how I feel about Marlow. The menu is extensive and I only go to try a few things so I definitely will go back. The $10 pizza deal on Sunday nights is a game-changer. Go to Fumo on Sunday nights, then come to our open Bwog meetings– that would make a perfect night.
Amazing food photography that you can see more of on her Instagram stories (@vivian.z) via Vivian