This is a quick update relating to yesterday’s post about a new Italian restaurant in Ivano-Frankivsk which uses only Ukrainian ingredients. The owners are very keen to stress the provenance of the products they use, following a trend in restaurants where the origin of ingredients can be traced. So, it turns out that their grain which makes the milled-on-the-premises flour, comes from a monastery near Uman’, halfway between Odessa and Kyiv.
When my wife and I went on Friday, we could not eat pizza – accounting for 50% of the main courses – because there was not enough made-on-site dough. However, some friends – twins – decided to have a birthday meal, so we got to return unexpectedly quickly to Fabbrica and try the pizza, and to further test the hype surrounding this new venture.
The service was a bit better and the menu was available in full. However, it turns out that it was fortunate on Friday that the pizza was unavailable as it was terribly chewy and bready, rather than crispy despite the dough being thin. The toppings were pretty interesting, especially a leek and mushroom combination and the basic margherita, but the wholemeal dough was like eating pita bread. If I’d wanted that, I could have gone to the excellent Cymes Jewish restaurant just ten metres away. And the toppings despite being tasty and quite innovative came in rather meagre portions, so there was a good 2cm of dough/ pita bread to eat through around the edge. Chewing a 2×4 cm square of such bread took me over 30 seconds, while a few people in our group had saw jaws after eating the pizza.
And with all the machinery on, it was still terribly loud and not really the ideal place for a birthday gathering. However, looking around the restaurant it was clear that the place is doing a roaring trade, with the clientele including one candidate in the up-coming parliamentary by-election, while potential clients were being turned away the door. The hype is doing well for the place for now, but word-of-mouth – if you’re able to talk after the pizzas – might start putting a few folk off even if it is the place to be seen right now (and it’s easy to be seen with the big open plan setting and huge windows).