New pizza joint Fatto Americano slices up Neapolitan-style pies
The team behind Destination Dogs has opened a new pizzeria on George Street called Fatto Americano. New Brunswick is full of pizza places, but none of them are like this one. Fatto Americano is a proper restaurant, occupying the space where The Dillinger Room used to be. A large bar serving up Italian and Italian-American inspired cocktails sits to the left, while the rest of the space is taken up by tables and booths.
Fatto Americano specializes in Neapolitan style pizzas, which means a few things. Most importantly, the crust is chewy and flavorful. It is not crispy like a New York style slice, nor is it soggy and thick. A Neapolitan pie's crust is thinner toward the center and thicker toward the outer edge. The toppings are also fresh and delicious, with both classic and more inventive pairings to choose from. Neapolitan pizzas are typically meant to serve one as a main course, which means you can get your own personal pizza, or share a few among friends.
The rest of their menu is comprised of starters, salads and sandwiches. Starters include shareables like pinzimonio (Italian crudités), arancini (rice balls) and salumi and cheese plates. I tried the arancini, which came to the table hot and crisp, served on top of a delicious tomato sauce. The rice balls are “in bianca,” meaning the inside is white — the rice is mixed with different cheeses, then battered and fried. The order came with three large rice balls, which were perfect for sharing.
The salad menu has some interesting options, like the shaved fennel and asparagus salad, which comes with red onions, orange and a citrus vinaigrette. There is also a burrata with heirloom tomato salad, which is a little on the pricey side, but if you love burrata it is worth it.
I opted to go basic and order the margherita pizza, and it was really great. The flavor of the crust was excellent, and the tomato sauce was spot-on — tangy, sweet and fresh. “Fatto americano” means made American style, so there are some digressions from a “traditional” Neapolitan pizza. The mozzarella cheese was shredded instead of sliced, and the basil was partially baked underneath the cheese. Nevertheless, the pizza was really incredible.
My friend ordered the vespa, which had tomato sauce, arugula, pecorino romano cheese and red onion. The arugula on top of the pizza was peppery and refreshing, the onion crisp and sharp. There was a slight difference in the crust, as this pizza was crisper than the margherita, probably because it did not have mozzarella. Next time, I would love to try the masaniello, which has tomato, crab, cherry peppers, mozzarella and lemon confit.
The sandwich menu provides still more options, from a classic muffuletta to a fried chicken cutlet sandwich. If you are not in the mood for pizza, a sandwich is a good choice.
The drinks selection at Fatto Americano is equally wonderful. They have some Italian classics along with more “New-World” creations. I ordered the very simple Negroni, a cocktail made of equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. It was perfectly balanced and not too sweet. I also tried the My Cousin Vinny, made with overproof rye, amaretto, Coca-Cola reduction, black walnut bitters and lemon oil. I was expecting it to be overpoweringly sweet, but the Coca-Cola reduction was very faint and not too strong. It was still a sweet drink, but it definitely had a kick.
There is also a very interesting beer selection, and a pretty respectable wine selection. If you like bitter flavors, a great after dinner drink option is an amaro, and Fatto Americano has a wide variety to choose from. Try the Amaro Nonino for something new!
As of now, Fatto Americano is open 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Friday and 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Saturday (lunch hours and Sunday hours coming soon). We are impressed by how great Fatto Americano already is less than a month after opening, and cannot wait to go back.