Fordo's Killer Pizza Brings Wood-Fired Pies to City Foundry


click to enlarge The classic Margherita pizza is one of several wood-fired pies offered at the new Fordo's Killer Pizza. - CHERYL BAEHR
Cheryl Baehr
The classic Margherita pizza is one of several wood-fired pies offered at the new Fordo's Killer Pizza.

When chef Joe Luckey began playing around with ideas for what would become Gerard Craft's latest restaurant, Fordo's Killer Pizza (3730 Foundry Way), he knew he had to nail the classics. Margherita, four-cheese and pepperoni were essentials, but he was equally determined to dish up the unexpected.

"Pizza has always been my favorite part of [working at] Pastaria over the last four years, and Gerard was happy that I showed interest in Fordo's," Luckey says. "We lined up a tasting, and I did a couple that weren't anything like Pastaria; I did a taco and a shakshuka pizza, and the menu started to take shape organically. Pizza is such a universal food that everyone can enjoy, so I wanted to be able to be playful and bring different flavors and cuisines to the table."

Now a little over a month into business, Fordo's has quickly become one of the hottest kitchens in the Food Hall at City Foundry thanks to Luckey's creative pies and commitment to nailing the basics of pizza-making. Anchored by a searing-hot Vesuvio oven made by the esteemed Italian company Gianni Acunto, Fordo's features pies have the distinct Neapolitan-style, leopard-speckled crust and are made from naturally fermented sourdough. The result is a pizza that has a puffed-up, char-blistered exterior and a thin center that remains soft, which allows for the cheese and toppings to melt into one another.

click to enlarge Chef Joe Luckey is excited to channel his culinary creativity into wood-fired pizza. - CHERYL BAEHR
Cheryl Baehr
Chef Joe Luckey is excited to channel his culinary creativity into wood-fired pizza.

Such beautiful pies might make you think that Luckey has been training to be a pizzeoli his entire life, however, he envisioned a much different path when he came to the professional kitchen. He began his cooking career interested in French fine-dining traditions and excelled in roles that allowed him to hone those skills, such as at Craft's former upscale restaurant, Niche.  However, Luckey got bit by the pizza bug when he volunteered to help Craft open Pastaria in Nashville in 2017. There, he was introduced to making pasta and pizza dough and immediately feel in love with the process.

"I quickly found out that making pizza is a way to really get to work with your hands," Luckey says. "The pizza station became some of the most fun I had cooking; there's the tending of the fire, making sure the dough is tempered and all of these other factors that contribute to making a perfect pizza. At the end of the day, you can bring flavors you wouldn't normally expect on pizza and juxtapose those with your classics; it allows you to have fun and be playful with what you are doing."

The menu at Fordo's (a play on Craft's middle name, Ford) reflects this balance. Diners can expect such traditional pizzas as a Margherita, which features tomato sauce, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese, a cheese-less Marinara with tomato sauce, oregano, basil and garlic, and a classic pepperoni. However, Fordo's also makes room for more unexpected pies, such as a taco pizza, which is topped with salsa verde, carnitas, red onion, jalapeños, Oaxacan cheese, cilantro and lime, and a North African-inspired shakshuka pizza, which consists of a red pepper sauce, garlic, herbs and two sunny-side-up eggs.

click to enlarge The Little Gem Caesar features garlic croutons, creamy anchovy dressing and shaved parmesan cheese. - CHERYL BAEHR
Cheryl Baehr
The Little Gem Caesar features garlic croutons, creamy anchovy dressing and shaved parmesan cheese.

In addition to pizza, Fordo's offers two salads — a Little Gem Caesar and a mixed greens with orange-thyme vinaigrette, mozzarella and pistachios — some marinated olives and a charred carrot hummus. The food counter also serves canned beer, wine and cocktails, and chilled shots of Fernet Branca. There is talk about bringing back the Negroni slushies once popularized at Craft's now-shuttered Porano Pasta, but those have not yet made their way on the drink list. Luckey also teases that he is excited about collaborating with other City Foundry vendors and notes that guests will see a rotating selection of pizza specials that reflect the diverse flavors available inside the food hall.

Fordo's Killer Pizza is open Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 9 a.m. Scroll down for more photos of Fordo's Killer Pizza.

click to enlarge Fordo's offers creative wood-fired pizzas, appetizers and desserts. - CHERYL BAEHR
Cheryl Baehr
Fordo's offers creative wood-fired pizzas, appetizers and desserts.

click to enlarge The charred carrot hummus is served with pizza pita. - CHERYL BAEHR
Cheryl Baehr
The charred carrot hummus is served with pizza pita.

click to enlarge Fordo's four cheese pizza is a blend of mozzarella, tallegio, fontina and parmesan. - CHERYL BAEHR
Cheryl Baehr
Fordo's four cheese pizza is a blend of mozzarella, tallegio, fontina and parmesan.

click to enlarge A whimsical mural sets the scene at the new Fordo's. - CHERYL BAEHR
Cheryl Baehr
A whimsical mural sets the scene at the new Fordo's.

click to enlarge Fordo's Killer Pizza brings an Italian vibe to the Food Hall at City Foundry. - CHERYL BAEHR
Cheryl Baehr
Fordo's Killer Pizza brings an Italian vibe to the Food Hall at City Foundry.

We are always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected]

About The Author

Scroll to read more Food & Drink News articles (1)
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.