Eat Here: Fatto a Mano, Kings CrossBy Joanne Gould
Sipping a chilled Gavi on a pavement terrace, nibbling on fat Sicilian Nocellara olives and watching blisteringly charred pizzas being rushed out of the wood-fired oven to hungry diners on a balmy summer night, it’s hard to believe we’re not in a neighbourhood pizzeria somewhere in Campania. But we’re not: this is Kings Cross, and we’re five minutes from the station where Brighton-born Neapolitan pizza purveyor Fatto a Mano has opened its latest London offshoot.
With two thriving Box Park sites (Croydon and Shoreditch) in addition to its Brighton and Hove restaurants, this bricks and mortar Kings Cross pizzeria is a welcome addition to the area, offering up Fatto a Mano’s authentic Neapolitan pizzas and exciting craft beer from some of the best small independent breweries from around the UK and Italy. The ORA Brewing Co’s Limoncello IPA brewed a few miles away in Tottenham caught our eye with its refreshing hint of Amalfi lemon zest setting off a bright hoppiness just made for a heatwave.
The beer list is strong here, but if ale’s not your thing, then sampling the spritz menu is sure to get aperitivo hour off to a sparkling start: try the monthly special, or opt for the Hugo where elderflower liqueur is mixed with Prosecco, soda, mint and lime for a seasonally British twist.
Fatto’s Kings Cross menu is short but very sweet, featuring a handful of sides slash antipasti and a list of 12 or so pizzas and extra toppings. We started with a plate of impeccable Parma ham, stunning slices of coppa and a globe of burrata which collapsed happily into its prerequisite puddle of creaminess for mopping up with crostini (or slathering onto waiting pizza crusts), though were rather envious of our neighbours’ Calzoncino Fritto aka miniature fried calzone packed with salami, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and basil.
Onto the main event: Fatto’s pizza dough is freshly made every day using Italian 00 flour and proved for at least 24 hours before being topped with ingredients from a handful of small suppliers. Choose from classic pizzas such as the much-loved Margherita, Diavola and our personal favourite, the Salsiccia e Friarelli, alongside a range of exciting, inventive combinations and impressive vegan options (extra points for the vegan ‘nduja guys). Gluten free diners are well catered for too.
We plumped for the July special of Salamino Piccante, Stracciatella and Tarallini which is a bianca mozzarella base topped with spicy salami, juicy yellow tomatoes, crushed tarallini (those tasty mini pretzel-like breadsticks) and the buttery inner of burrata drizzled all over the top: crunchy, sweet, spicy and creamy, let’s just say it ticked all of our boxes. Bases are properly puffy, pillowy soft and arrive with the authentically leopard-spotted char marks of a pizza that has been expertly handled in the oven – for once we failed to leave the crust. If your eyes have been bigger than your belly, staff will gladly provide you with a box to take the rest away, too.
We ate on a hot, July night where Kings Cross was buzzing with drinkers and diners enjoying the weather and the now extensive choice of places to stop for a bite or a beer, and though Fatto a Mano has just a handful of inside tables and a smallish outdoor eating space everyone was easily accommodated and service was swift and friendly. A brilliant addition to the ever-expanding list of great dining destinations in the area, definitely pop back to Fatto for our next Neapolitan pizza fix next time we’re in N1. Brava.