Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Friday Night at Fritti

Context matters.

That’s the major thrust of Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” (which I’ve reviewed on here) and I think it applies to going out to eat.

Let me explain:

I have these friends–let’s call them “Mosh” and “Paty”–who really love the pizza at Fritti. When I wrote a pizza post a couple of weeks back, Paty e-mailed me and said: “You ain’t tried nothin’ til you tried the pizza at Fritti.”

Last night, I had plans with my friends Mark and Michael K. and I suggested Fritti.

“It’s the best pizza in Atlanta,” I explained, quoting Paty.

“Ok, soundsd good,” said Mark. He made the reservation.

We got to Fritti around 7:30. What’s nice about Daylight Savings time is that now everything is bright and sunsetty at 7:30. It was really pretty out.

“Can we sit outside?” we asked the host.

“No,” he said. “We can seat you at a table inside right now, or you can wait thirty minutes.”

We mulled that over and caved into our hunger. “Inside it is,” we said.

[Maybe I should have slipped him a $50, as per the bribing article I posted. Anyone have a $50?]

They led us to a back corner table, past the woodburning ovens where the pizza is made:

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I sat down and a beam of sunlight pierced my retina.

“Ow,” I said.

I moved seats and let the sunlight pierce the back of my head.

We perused the wine menu. Michael K. knows his wine, so we let him choose. He chose a bottle of Poliziano, a red Italian wine:

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It was nice, though slightly acidic.

Next, we ordered appetizers. Based on a review we read online, we went for the calamari. And since we were three, we also ordered a Frito Misto of shrimp and scallops.

What came out was two giant platters of fried food:

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I wish I could say that it was good, but it wasn’t. I didn’t like the batter—it was floury and unflavorful. It needed salt. And with a batter like that, you really wanted something to dip it in: garlic aioli or anything. All we got was a lemon.

And there was so much of it.

[An inversion of the Catskills/Woody Allen-Annie Hall joke of the two women at a restaurant: “The food here is terrible!” “And such small portions!”]

Anyway, the plates were taken away and out came our entrees. Mark and I went for pizza:

I took the waiter’s suggestion of the Pancetta Carmelized Onion Pizza with Hot Red Pepper Flakes:

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Mark ordered pizza with smelly gorganzola, pineapple and balsamic vinegar:

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Michael K. eschewed pizza for a pork chop, to his vast pleasure:

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“This is delicious,” said Michael K.

Mark and I were underwhelmed by our pizzas.

I thought mine was fine—I liked the crust—but it was comparable to the pizza at Osteria; also thin, made in a wood-burning oven and with the added bonus of being cheaper.

Mark was equally indifferent to his pizza, saying he wished there was more pineapple.

Would I have felt different had I been there with Mosh and Paty? Well, turns out, Mosh and Paty were there that night too. They split two pizzas between four people and everyone seemed contented.

“Wasn’t the pizza great?” said Paty.

“Yes,” I lied.

[Good thing they don’t read this website or I’d be in SOOO much trouble!]

So, in summary, Fritti was less than stellar; perhaps it takes enthusiastic company to bump it up to stellar.

[Sharing in the sentiment, Lolita just barfed.]

[And since I threw that in, I’ll also add that last night I had a very disturbing apocolyptic dream where the world, basically, ended. Tony Soprano was there and we were all listening to the radio, as bombs started to drop. I blame it on Fritti.]

6 comments

  1. I agree that the pizza (and food in general) at Fritti is overrated. Osteria isn’t a BAD pizza, neither is Savage Pizza. But neither are really GOOD pizzas either. Fellinis has a thin crust, but still doesn’t quite meet the NY pizza standard. I have kind of concluded that there isn’t any truly good pizza in this city :(

  2. This is truly a post of lies. It is so false that I smell sulfur when I read it.

    First of all, Mosh and I have never stated even once that Fritti is the best pizza in Atlanta. We would never say such a thing, Fellini’s fans that we are.

    We said it was CONSIDERED by many to be the best pizza in Atlanta, by the likes of Creative Loafing and John Kessler, as well as our former chef roommate. We suggested you eat there for this reason alone. We were repeating information we thought might be valuable.

    Second of all — and this may be the most loathsome lie of all — when you ran into Mosh and I (as well as our friends, Tatthew and Sari) at Fritti, I absolutely DID NOT ask you “wasn’t the pizza great.” Nor did you respond “yes.”

    Good readers of Amateur Gourmet, this is total and complete fabrication. I checked with Mosh, Tatthew and Sari, and no one has a recollection of this conversation. Indeed, I complimented you on your shirt (a compliment that went entirely unacknowledged, I might add), and I upbraided you for some rash comments you made in another AG post. I did not mention your meal nor speculate as to its potential greatness.

    You tell one lie, Amateur Gourmet, and it leads to another. You tell two lies to cover the other. Three lies: oh brother.

    Something to think about.

    Sincerely,

    Paty

  3. Well, I for one am glad that Paty has spoken up. I was really not going to listen to anything more (s)he has to say on food, but seeing as how no such recommendation was actually made, I will be willing to take recommendations of Paty under consideration once more.

    You really almost lost your entire reputation, Paty! You should be more careful where you leave it!

  4. Dear Readership

    Recently, a certain character known as “Paty” attempted to misinform you regarding my capacity to spread misinformation. I now share with you a chat that happened 5 minutes ago on AOL Instant Messager. I think its truth will astonish you:

    AG: check out my website. i posted a funny movie

    Paty: did you commit libel again?

    AG: i’ve been thinking about it…

    Paty: slandering my husband and me?

    AG: and i didn’t want to shame you

    but you are SO wrong about me not acknowledging your comment on the shirt

    you said: “i like your shirt”

    Paty: oh I know

    AG: and i said: “yeah? ricky tells me it makes me look like an old man

    Paty: I just wanted to discredit you further

    AG: and everyone said: “noooo”

    AG: AHA

    YOU ARE SO BUSTED

    The AIM service could not send the message: You have sent too much data too quickly. Please wait a little while before sending more.

    Paty: by showing you to be a social ingrate

    to your readership

    it worked

    The AIM service could not send the message: You have sent too much data too quickly. Please wait a little while before sending more.

    Paty: trey givens bought it

    BWAHAHAHA!

    AG: I AM PASTING THIS CHAT INTO MY WEBSITE

    now you’ll be a laughingstock

    Paty: please don’t

    I repent

    AG: too late

    i need to clear my good name

    Paty: no no!

    you’re too cruel, Amateur Gourmet

    AG: it’s curtains for you, PATY

  5. Ugh… That calamari doesn’t really look all that good. And as you said in your other post not even close to the goodness of a pizza at the Floataway.

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