The owner of popular burger West Midtown burger spot Bocado is banking on the meal kit delivery trend as part of his new dining concept.
Brian Lewis, who also owns Bocado Burger in Alpharetta and Amer cocktail bar in Inman Park, is set to open Al Forno’s later this month on the street level of the SkyHouse condo building at 1080 West Peachtree St. The idea, made-to-order but uncooked gourmet pizza delivered to your house or available for pickup at Al Forno’s (the space will also feature a small dine-in area), is in keeping with movement toward fresh, easy-to-make foods ala Garnish and Gather and Blue Apron.
“Convenient foods are becoming more of a trend,” Lewis said. “People want stuff shipped to their home. They’re also looking for stellar ingredients and locally-sourced stuff.”
To that end, Al Forno’s Neapolitan-style pizzas will be made with lots of locally-sourced and house-made ingredients including the crust and some of the cheeses and sausages. Lewis’ crust has already gotten the seal of approval from several local purveyors who he’s been selling to wholesale for the past few months, including the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, Loews Atlanta Hotel and organic produce delivery company Local Harvest.
Al Forno’s pizzas — which all cook within 7 minutes in the oven — will arrive mostly assembled, but will typically come with one or two ingredients meant to be added right before the pie hits the oven, something like a drizzle of olive oil or a handful of arugula.
“We’re taking restaurant-level quality food and developing it with the intention of having people finish it off at home,” Lewis said. “We want people to have a hand in finishing their own meals.”
Customers can order online at alfornos.com and can place an order for that day or a specific date and time later in the week. If pizza isn’t enough, customers will also be able to choose from several of the most popular salads from Bocado’s menu, small plates including marinated olives and tomato bisque, beverages and dessert to add to their orders.
This isn’t Lewis’ first foray into the pizza-making game — he was a partner in the now-shuttered Buckhead restaurants STG Trattoria and Don Antonio.
“We’re taking the love affair we had with what we were doing there and creating the same experience, but developing it for home use,” he said.