A new neighbourhood pizzeria that’ll transport you to Italy
There’s something about the Italian way of life that appeals to me. Firstly and most obviously, the food is quite simply delicious. Secondly, the people are passionate and lively. Thirdly it’s completely family oriented. These three observations perfectly sum up Neapolitan pizzeria, Fatto A Mano.
Ciao! Friendly Italian greeting
The night I went along to review it was the press dinner, so the service was as I’d expect – right on point. Although, having visited its sister restaurant on London Road several times and always had the same friendly Italian welcome, I’m confident that this is typical of the service its regular customers receive.
Enormous portions that almost defeated us
The press dinner coincided with the start of OctoberBEST so the limited edition specials from the OctoberBEST menu had to be tried. I went for the Tronchetto, an enormous sausage-shaped fold of dough, stuffed with gooey, stretchy Brighton Blue Cheese and wrapped in thin, salty, Parma Ham on a bed of rocket. I hadn’t envisaged how huge this was going to be, which was an error because my stomach was almost full by the end of this first course. Greedy gannets that we were, our table also ordered two of the Campania fries – £4, to share. Campania fries are a more modern twist on roasted Roman potatoes, seasoned with garlic, rosemary and sea salt.
Before gorging on the main course, I took a walk over to the open kitchen where the wood-fired pizza oven takes centre stage. Just like the London Road Fatto A Mano, there’s a counter bar for a more relaxed dining environment. Behind this, the chefs are busy at work sliding pizzas in an out of the oven every couple of minutes. The beautiful blue and white mosaiced dome kicks out 450 degrees of heat and this bakes the pizza in an impressive 90 seconds.
Everything I want from pizza
After returning to my seat it wasn’t long before our mains came gliding over to us, with a little surprise from the chefs – a star-shaped calzone made especially for me! Though it looked nothing like a typical calzone, I was impressed. Inside my rolled pizza was a thin layer of San Marzano tomato, ham, mushrooms, salami, olives, basil and mozzarella. It was everything I wanted from a pizza, flavoursome, pillowy dough with the trademark Italian leoparding on the cornicione (edge). The only improvement I’d like to see is a more generous spread of the gorgeous tomato base – that’s the good stuff after all. The rest of the table wasn’t forgotten either, theirs were shaped like hearts too. One of our group was also vegan, which can sometimes be a challenge but we were reassured that everything at Fatto A Mano is cooked in olive oil, not butter, so minus the cheese, Sarah could enjoy a vegan-friendly pizza along with the rest of us.
PRICE: £74.50 for 4 people, including starters, mains, sides & a bottle of Prosecco
RATING: Must Go | Worth A Try | Give It A Miss
SCORES ON THE DOORS: 5/5 from the FSA for food hygiene
If you want pizza that’s authentically Italian, then Fatto A Mano should be your first choice in Brighton & Hove. It’s independently owned, supports local producers and is exceptionally good value for money. It also takes family-friendly to a whole new level, offering 1 free children’s pizzas and gelato when one paying adult dines in.
*Disclaimer: I was invited to Fatto A Mano to review on a complimentary basis, but as always, my opinion isn’t swayed by freebies and you are getting my honest view on the whole experience.