Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Highlight #155: Looking much better upskirt - Restaurant: Fritti

We visit Fritti more than any other restaurant in Atlanta. It's our neighborhood go to place when we don't feel like eating in and don't want to think up anything new to try. The pizzas have always been satisfying if not brilliant, the atmosphere always pleasant, and the list of wines by the glass definitely hit the spot.

A couple of weeks ago, I took some friends there on a casual weeknight and found something very different - the pizzas crust had gone through a major makeover. Even from the top, I was already able to see some changes. The edge of the pie looked thicker and doughier. When I took my knife to test the center, a former problem area where under cooking often occurs, I knew something was definitely different, my knife actually encountered something slightly crunchy under the cheese.

A peek up skirt confirmed my suspicion, the crust at Fritti had been reworked. Previously, the above shot would have revealed a more pale bottom that curves from the weight of the ingredients on top. Now, there are these awesome charred bubbles. With expectation raised significantly, we chewed our pie slowly. If you haven't been to Fritti recently, you need to go and try this, because I don't remember eating another pie crust quite like this in Atlanta. Of course, I never got the invite to try the famous Verrazano pies at his house that many other bloggers have raved about, but I can tell you that the toothsome feeling of this crust reminded me very much of the pie I had at Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix (You can see my post on that here. Bianco is hailed by many as the best in the country, although I don't give the "best" type claims all that much weight. It's a good pie).

So what makes this crust special? The magic, for me, lies in the balance of char and chew. The slightly thicker crust allowed for a good bubbly char on the bottom and parts of the edge and still afforded chewy innards that are cooked through to the very center of the pie. The dough tasted pure, without any fancy seasoning.

Since we go often, I asked our waiter about the change in the pie and he told me that they've got a new pizza man in the back, who actually came out to greet us with limoncello in hand after dinner. We talked very little since I spoke no Italian and he spoke little English. But my friends who are more well versed in his tongue found out that he just came from Naples and is really excited to be making pies in Atlanta. Even without understanding, I got his excitement and the limoncello was a good touch.

So don't take my word for it, go try the pies and see what you think. Although I do have to note that the fried calamari, which I already liked here came out smelling just a little like it had been fried in oil that is a tad old that night.

309 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 880-9559


jimmy said...

Cathy -

I wonder when the new pizzaiolo arrived?

I would like to give them another shot since I had a less than stellar experience last time.

Thanks for the update!

Anonymous said...

Enrico Liberato - according to the Atlanta Magazine Blog:

he started a few (3?) months ago...

Cathy said...

I never got lemoncello until the new guy, so maybe that's his signal of changing times. :)

In any case, give it another try. I am no critic or expert of any sort, but I liked it quite a lot.