August 20, 2009

Fat Cat Pie Co. – Norwalk, CT

Fat Cat Pie Co.Located on Wall St. in Norwalk, Fat Cat Pie Co. is a newcomer to Norwalk’s anemic pizza scene with a bit of a following. Priding itself on an extensive wine list, a vast artisanal cheese selection, and super thin crust pizzas incorporating fresh organic ingredients, Fat Cat Pizza Co. is certainly different from many, if not all, of the pizzerias we’ve reviewed until now.

Establishment. We were met at Fat Cat Pie Co. by sprawling, minimalist bar and dining areas, decked out with hardwood floors, dark painted ceilings, IKEA-esque furnishings and extremely dim lighting bordering on uncomfortable darkness. The decor is rather stark and generally nonexistent, giving the restaurant a very clean, antiseptic feel and the look of an expensive loft of someone without the time to unpack. Needless to say, there’s a lot of wall for all sorts of dining sounds to bounce off of, and while even we were having some trouble hearing our otherwise attentive and helpful waiter on a not-so-crowded evening, we can only imagine how impossible conversation is when the place is hopping on a Friday night. Fat Cat’s menu was predictably bare (we’re sensing a theme here), consisting of pizzas and salads as well as cheese plate appetizers, mildly enticing deserts (like cookies with whipped cream; exorbitantly priced, but probably still delicious), and a reasonably priced, very unique beer and wine selection.

Pizza. Our pizzas of choice were a plain cheese pie (don’t do this), one topped with house-made sausage, and one with eggplant and fresh, chopped red onions. It’s rather interesting that this restaurant calls itself Fat Cat, as this was the thinnest freaking pizza we’ve ever eaten with a crust no thicker than a Mission tortilla and barely half the flavor. Cooked to a crisp, cracker-like consistency, Fat Cat’s crust is laughingly brittle and would easily shatter if dropped. The sauce—likely a conservative splash of crushed organic tomatoes and not much else—was about as bland as the decor, with little to no distinguishable taste and barely enough of it on any given pie to even lend itself to the overall texture. Fortunately, the cheese was a more-than-passable fresh, organic mozzarella with a satisfying snap and almost smoky notes that was disappointingly underportioned on two of our pizzas (one of them being the plain cheese pie).

spice caddies at Fat Cat Pie Co.However, Fat Cat Pie Co. really came through on the topping front, as both the house-made (!) sausage and eggplant toppings added much-needed flavors to pizzas that were essentially built as vehicles for these additions (as such, the plain cheese pie was an abomination). Also worth mentioning are the spice caddies that follow each pie to the table, complete with the basics (black pepper, red pepper, chili powder) and some less traditional toppers (Turkish and Bangkok seasonings) that, while unique, only hammers home the point that Fat Cat is more about gimmicky toppings and spices than a quality by-the-book pizza.

The bottom line. Fat Cat Pie Co. makes a super-thin, underflavored, overpriced, gimmicky edible plate of a pizza that is only as good as the toppings offered and made us stare longingly at the conversely huge salads (which doesn’t ever happen).

Establishment: 22/30
Pizza: 14/30
Hits the Spot: 3/10
Large Cheese: $9.00 (13")

Fat Cat Pie Co on Urbanspoon

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