Fatto a Mano
I’ve been saving a review of Fatto a Mano for quite some time, although I don’t really know why that is. Perhaps because this place is quite special to me and I wanted to do it right, or perhaps because every time I go I end up taking a million photos of my food. This place is straight up my favourite restaurant in Brighton right now, and has been for some time. So, imagine my absolute fangirly excitement, when I got to head down to the brand new Hove restaurant on opening night with Brighton Girl to review the menu!* If you haven’t seen it already, this review originally appeared on Brighton Girl here, but for any of you that haven’t been reading BG (you really should be, you know!) I thought I would include the full review here on The Third Place. So here it is…
Fatto a Mano arrived in London Road with a bang last summer, immediately creating a buzz amongst pizza lovers as a new contender for authentic Neapolitan pizzas with a lively neighbourhood atmosphere for friends and families alike. In just one year, Fatto has secured itself as a real Brightonian favourite. Needless to say, I was pretty excited upon finding out that Fatto planned to expand their family and open a brand new restaurant on Church Road in Hove, merely a year after opening their doors. So, imagine my exhilaration when I was invited along on opening night to experience a little bit of Naples in Hove on behalf of Brighton Girl! We arrived at the brand new restaurant on a beautifully sunny evening, marvelling at the European-esque open front spilling onto the street, already full of happy patrons. Helen, the new Hove manager, welcomed us and showed us inside to our seats near the bar. Not ones to miss out on an opportunity for a post-work tipple, we ordered an Aperol Spritz and pint of Poretti whilst we perused the menu. Eyes bigger than our bellies, we decided to start with garlic pizza bread with mozzarella and some Campania fries, which are seasoned with garlic, rosemary and sea salt. The garlic pizza is your first opportunity to experience Fatto a Mano’s wonderfully pillowy dough, and it does not disappoint. Decked in mozzarella and fresh chopped garlic slices, the flavours are further infused with the drizzle of olive oil on top for an indulgent and satisfying starter. Now, the Campania fries come in a massive portion so I would definitely recommend sharing these between a few people! Whilst exactly the type of fries I’d usually look for, crunchy and golden on the outside with soft, squidgy potato inside, they left us a little disappointed on the seasoning front, as the garlic went pretty much undetected and the rosemary was fairly sparse. However, they were incredibly moreish and we found ourselves unable to stop from devouring the entire plate. Waistbands already feeling tight by this point (Mom jean were a bad, bad choice that day), we took a short breather before the pizzas arrived.
Fatto a Mano are one of an increasing amount of pizzerias to offer white pizzas on their menu – pizzas without any tomato base whatsoever, usually topped with more mozzarella or creamy ricotta. Once a huge sceptic, I am pleased to say I have since become a white pizza convert, and I have Fatto a Mano to thank for this. So, on this basis we ordered two white pizzas, the Salsiccia e Friarielli (Fennel and garlic sausage, Neapolitan broccoli, chilli, basil, mozzarella and parmesan) and the Rucola Prosciutto (Parma ham, rocket, cherry tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and parmesan). Fatto’s soft dough and top notch ingredients are proof that pizza does not need a tomato base in order to be tasty, so disbelievers pay attention. The fennel and garlic sausage of the Salsiccia e Friarielli is immensely flavoursome and complemented brilliantly by the Neapolitan broccoli, which tastes like the highflying lovechild of spinach and broccoli. Put together with the mozzarella, parmesan and chilli, you have a serious contender for one of the best pizzas this Brighton Girl has ever eaten. In this case of the generously topped Rucola Prosciutto, the Parma ham is silky, sweet and slightly salty, harmonising with the crunchy and peppery rocket, juicy cherry tomatoes and creamy mozzarella – a crowd pleaser to be sure. With taste parties like this going on inside your mouth, there isn’t a single sparing thought for a tomato base that could have been.
Barely halfway through our pizzas, we had to admit defeat and box the pizzas up to feast upon whilst in the comfort of pyjama bottoms, instead of high-waisted denim. Before another cheeky Aperitvo cocktail (the Hugo this time and hands down a clear winner of the two – elderflower liqueur, gin, soda, lime and mint), we took an opportunity to check out the rest of the new restaurant.
Compared to its big sister restaurant, the Church Street site has tonnes of space, including split-level upstairs space overlooking the kitchen, an open front that expands onto the street and even a downstairs party room that can be booked out for larger parties. This new expansion for Fatto means everyone can get a slice of the action without big waiting times, as its sister can sometimes be known for on a Friday or Saturday evening! For an opening night, and the first impressions for many customers, the team were absolutely nailing it, which can hopefully only mean good things for their continuing success. The atmosphere was already very much that of your favourite neighbourhood pizzeria and all of the team wore smiles on their faces. With all of this, plus the incredibly reasonable pricing of the food, we’re already thinking about the next Brighton Girl pizza outing! Have you been down to the new Fatto a Mano on Church Road yet? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below! * This meal was very kindly provided free of charge by management as we were invited to review the menu. All opinions are my own of course😌 Like this post? You can share it with your friends or see more of what I get up to here: [DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_PLUS] Never miss a post by following me on Bloglovin!