Eater Portland caught up with iconic Portland baker and James Beard award winning author Ken Forkish yesterday, to discuss the new cocktail program and pizzas at Ken's Artisan Pizza. Forkish had a lot of updates to share, which isn't a surprise for a restaurateur who opened a new location inside downtown's Pine Street Market food hall and released a follow-up cookbook this spring (plus Ken's Artisan Pizza celebrated ten years in business this summer).
Forkish says that between researching the new cookbook and the departure of long-time pizza chef, Alan Maniscalco, he's been spending more time in the kitchen experimenting. New pizzas currently on the menu at Ken's Artisan Pizza include the summer pesto, topped with hazelnut pesto, summer veggies, and mozzarella; The Beautiful Pig, featuring a locally made pork, beef, and chianti salami; and the fresh corn pizza, given a twist with smoked pickled jalapenos. Pizza purists should make a b-line for another new creation, the Pomodoro Royale (yep, that's a Pulp Fiction reference), a pizza that comes out of the oven with tomato sauce, basil, and olive oil and is immediately topped with grated pecorino romano.
Colin Carroll, lead barman at Forkish's Trifecta Tavern and Bakery, was charged with developing a cocktail program at the pizzeria, and he tells Eater he's making classic Italian cocktails, including three takes on the negroni: traditional, the white negroni, and the negroni sbagliato (sbagliato means mistake, and legend has it this negroni variant was invented when an inexperienced Milanese bartender accidentally made a negroni with prosecco instead of gin). The bar also stocks amaro and spirits for straight-sipping.
Among other updates, Forkish says Trifecta Tavern and Bakery is now selling grab-and -go breads, pastries, and Stumptown drip coffee from 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Just ring the bell at the entrance to get a baker's attention. Forkish has also replaced the pizza oven at Trifecta Annex, inside of Pine Street Market, after only four months. The new oven stays hotter, he says, resulting in more pizzas being made more quickly.