A Little Flavour Of Pizza East In Brighton!
Brighton Food Reviewer: Carissa Wyten, November 2015
There is a new food-mafia pizza joint in town, called Fatto A Mano!
Aptly deriving its name from the Italian word for ‘handmade’, Fatto A Mano is a cosy, casual-style pizzeria – with punchy flavours that will take you back to downtown Napoli.
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Soft, Industrial Furnishings
From the same gastro team behind popular coffee spot ‘Bread and Milk‘ (Brighton), Fatto A Mano has a similar relaxed, soft-industrial feel about it with charming exposed brick walls, bright tiled flooring, retro style fixtures and wooden bar stools that face a luxurious marble-topped pizza bar. A little reminder this is no Pizza Express.
In the main dining section, restaurant goers can dine on a large natural wood sharing table (perfect for group bookings), round tables or huddle side by side in one of the intimate window seats – all enhanced with romantic mood lighting.
Latest Pizza Haven
Walk by and you may almost miss this cool new local resto, but once inside and confronted with the giant blue and white mosaic pizza oven and of course, the traditional artisan pizza-maker – fitted with a red novelty handkerchief necktie and you will instantly know you have found the latest pizza haven of East Sussex.
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The menu is simple, basic Italian starters and sides inclusive of the Mediterranean staples; olives, bruschetta, caprese salad, and ‘Campania Fries’ (potatoes made with love and then sprinkled with sea salt and rosemary) or for the meat lovers an ‘Affettato Misto’ – a selection of traditional cured meats.
Main meals are straight forward, pizza bianco or romano and of course more pizza. With a special of the day hovering overhead on a nearby chalkboard.
There are also other pizza inspired meals on offer, including Calzones and Saltimbocca (Italian Pizza Sandwiches).
Or for the health conscious among us and for those that forgot they walked into a Pizzeria, a few gourmet salads can be found further down the menu and strategically placed above the gelatos and sorbets.
After eyeing the generous pizza servings and doughy billowing edges, we decided to skip the starters and go straight to pizza, 2 in fact!
One was a special bianco pizza with mortadella, basil pesto, roasted pine nuts and mozzarella on a ‘naked’ white base (no tomato) and the other was Pizza Diavola, a classic romano, tomato based pizza with Spianata Romana salami, fresh chilli, basil (swapped with rocket), mozzarella and parmesan.
Both generous in size and toppings, the pizzas were delicious and with each mouthful a combination of classic and crispy light pizza dough, oven charred for maximum flavor. What you would expect from an artisan-style pizzeria but with unique flavor derived from premium quality ingredients.
Italian Wines and Gelato
We stuck to soft drinks (having already enjoyed pre drinks at a neighbouring bar) but I did glance at a sound wine list inclusive of prosecco, spumante, Italian reds and whites and of course the must-have after dinner digestive.
Our dinner was finished with 3 simple, palette cleansing and tasty gelatos and sorbets – pistachio, vanilla and lemon. A classic end to a rich meal.
What really makes this place stand out in my book is the service. Once you get passed the charismatic Abruzzo born, Sandro (restaurant Manager) and his military waiting list clipboard, you are met with a gorgeous team who are on hand to serve you all night and offer a tipple of grappa as a nightcap.
Sandro checked on us in a friendly manner, entertaining us with his hometown anecdotes and stories while keeping a well oiled staff in check. We neither felt rushed nor too relaxed and the setting was perfect for any dining experience, whether it be a birthday / special occasion, a date, family supper or a friendly catch up.
Go early or be prepared to sneak in a quick vino at pub next door, as this popular new haunt will only take bookings of 6 or more.
Ciao for now Fatto A Mano!