- November 1, 2016
It might seem odd, unlikely even, unbelievable perhaps but I do not have a massive appetite. Much as I love food, and I know, my size is evidence of this undeniable fact, I am not a big eater, or at least not in one sitting. Far better to describe me as a frequent eater. Yes, I like that and I would like to get frequent eater points, can anyone organise this?
Why bring this up, well a week ago I was invited to try a new pizza joint in Hove. Fatto a Mano is a bright tiled restaurant with a huge domed and tiled wood-fired pizza oven at its heart. I like pizza yes and I really like pizzas from wood fired ovens. Much as I like them I find it hard to finish one, for me they are so often just too big. I like nothing better though than sharing one with a friend and having a platter of antipasto to share too. In fact a kiddy portion would suit me fine.
Fortunately the Fatto a Mano menu had some very tempting options for my unusually dainty appetite, an appetite you will soon realise is not as dainty as I might be claiming.
I was joined by Mr S, a seasoned pizza fan, in fact pizza is his staple diet so an ideal accomplice on this venture. Mr S has a massive appetite I was soon to discover when he ordered their fries – as a starter! It was a huge mountain of nicely seasoned chipped potatoes, not particularly Italian but it put a wide smaller on his face, as did the beers that we had ordered to accompany our meal.
I took a look at both the house menu and their October Best menu at 20 which had plenty of great treats on it and one in particular that caught my eye.
On the main menu I spotted an old favourite, melanzane parmigiana, aubergine, tomato, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. So there I had it, the perfect combo of two starters.
I would certainly go back and have that melanzane again
We were sat at the counter facing the oven and watching the traditional country dance that is three pizza chefs at work, fine choreography and plenty of dough swirling to behold. Suddenly I realised that the enormous dish being prepared before my very eyes was the tronchetto, the very starter that had caught my eye with its promise of Brighton blue cheese wrapped in parma ham.
What I had not realised was that the cheese was encased in a roll of pizza dough. Ah well I thought, as the chef loaded the plate with rocket salad, at least the salad will be light. It was delicious, a real treat, and I ignored my appetite and scoffed the lot. I certainly hope that they put this own their main menu very soon.
Mr S, after having the difference between a white pizza and a red pizza explained to him, no tomato sauce on the white, chose the Capricciosa – tomato, ham, mushroom, artichokes, olives, salami, basil, mozzarella – yes all of that! Very good it looked too, and he made a fairly good job of demolishing it, leaving only some of the crisp crust, usually my favourite part. My melanzane was great and plenty big enough to be honest, especially after the larger than expected first course.
Mr S finished with ice-cream, I had affogato, a good one, especially couple with a shot of amaretto.
I really enjoyed my meal and the company, the service is good, friendly and relaxed but very efficient and I would certainly go back and have that melanzane again, and the tronchetto if it makes it to the menu. Price wise it is pretty impressive too with pizzas starting at a modest 6.50 and rising to an equally modest 9.
65-67 Church Road, Hove BN3 2BD