A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to the official opening evening of Fatto a Mano’s second restaurant, located in the heart of Hove. Even though the restuarant had been open a few weeks, the owners decided to throw an official opening evening and invite myself and a few other Brighton Bloggers along and why not! Any excuse for a get together! Since the first Fatto a Mano opened on London Road, literally a stones throw from my old flat, I’ve only heard fantastic things. If I still lived in at flat I think I’d be eating there ALL the time. Anyway, finally with the Hove opening penned in the diary, it was time for me to finally give it a try for myself. Fatto a Mano’s philosophy is to create pizza’s inspired by Naples, which is the birthplace of Pizza. Instead of the thin, crispy bases, they create soft, doughy glorious pizzas which are cooked in 90 seconds at 450+ degrees on the wood fired oven. I also found out that Fatto a Mano means ‘made by hand‘…. I thought it was a reference to how you feel after a visit, but anyway, I get it now! 😉
Inside the restaurant is simple and stylish with a real homely, neighbourhood vibe. When we arrived there were a mix of diners, from couples, young and old to families with children, it’s a welcome space for all to enjoy great food. The first thing that catches your eye as you enter the restaurant is the huge tiled wood fired oven in the corner with an open plan kitchen – there are seats around the kitchen with a bar area, where you can enjoy food with a view – watching the chefs create each pizza and place them into the wood fired oven infront of your very eyes.
If you are like me and felt a bit wobbly on a bar stool (either from pregnancy, like me or wine… like I’ll be in a few months) you can opt for a table within the restaurant. We chose a seat in the window the watch the world go by and ponder over the menu. The starter menu offers some of my favourite Italian classics, such as Garlic Pizza Bread, Bruscetta and the Caprese Salad, which is the dish we opted for and decided to share as we could see the portions were rather generous!
When it comes to pizzas, there are three different main options – Red (with San Marzano Tomato), White (without tomato) or calzone. We couldn’t decide which to try as there were too many delicious options, so opted for one red, one white to share so we could try both. My pizza was the Norma Vegetariana (Tomato, Aubergine, Smoked Ricotta, Mozzarella, Basil). This had such a rich smoky taste from the ricotta which gave it a real twist on the usual vegetarian flavours. I absolutely loved the pillowy soft dough too.
Vee went for the Quattro Formaggi (Ricotta, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, Basil, Mozzarella) – which is just a cheese lovers paradise! A pizza without a tomato base was a welcome addition too.
Onto the desserts, which if you know me well, you’ll know is my favourite part of any meal! I went for one of my very favourite Italian desserts (which I’m actually quite fussy about) – Tiramisu. However, I was 100% impressed with the Fatto A Mano tiramisu, it was rich, creamy and heavenly – perfection. As you can see from the picture below, the portions are so generous too, although it was so good I couldn’t stop until it was all gone and felt rather uncomfortable afterwards – Oops!
Vee went for the Scugnizzielli Nutella, based on our waitresses recommendation – she told us they were Fatto a Mano’s speciality dessert, plus she also warned us to share as the portion sizes are huge, but with my eye on the tiramisu we decided to be piglets and order both! Vee was also served a Limoncello shot with her dessert which I was super jealous about, being one of my favourite after dinner digestifs, but never mind, I’ll make up for that next year! So, the scugnizzielli nutella is made by frying strips of pizza dough, dipping them in sugar, they are then coated in warm chocolate sauce and served with vanilla gelato. Think an Italian take on churros and you are on the right lines! We gave this gorgeous mountain of sugar our best shot but couldn’t finish them all – so our waitress was right, do share a portion of these if you decide to try them!
Overall we really enjoyed our visit to Fatto a Mano and will be visiting again soon. I loved that the pizza’s had an authentic Italian feel and the choices on the menu were a little different to that of the big chains like Pizza Express or Zizzi. Seeing as Fatto a Mano is priced around the same mark, I’d much rather eat at somewhere with a homely, neighbourhood feel, authentic food and support a really lovely local business too. There are two restaurants, one in Brighton, one in Hove. To find out more, view their menu, see the Fatto A Mano website here.
A big THANK YOU to Fatto a Mano for having us on your official opening night! We will be back to see you again soon, no doubt! 🙂
I was kindly invited in for a complimentary meal in return for an honest review – all opinions are my own