Pizza with pizzazz
Feel good about your food, too, at Flatbread Company, Hampton
By Rachel Forrest
Hampton Union, Spotlight section, March 7, 2013
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
There are many reasons to become a fan of Flatbread Company. They do good deeds with their community nights and source their ingredients from local farms. They created relaxed and cozy environments where kids can sit in front of the big wood-burning stone pizza oven and stare deeply into the fire, watching their pizza bake away.
Grown-ups can sit at the bar and enjoy staring into the craft brew taps, many from our local nanobreweries. Oh, yes, and the pizza is delicious with powerful, yet balanced flavors and vibrant toppings.
Dining Out: Flatbread Company, Hampton, 61 High St., Hampton, 926-6111, www.facebook.com/FlatbreadCompanyHampton
The new Hampton restaurant is no exception. Housed in the former Me & Ollies, the smaller restaurant sports a great bar, complete with turntable, that craft brew selection and even a full bar, which wasn't apparent to me at first. The dining room is warm and cozy with an open space and cool enclosed wooden booths, all in view of the stone oven where kids do indeed sit and watch the action from a log bench.
The menu at this Flatbread is much the same as at their other locations, which makes for a good consistent experience. The names on the menu are changed a bit, but the basics are still here and they run their own specials. I've been to the new spot a few times and I like it both as a bar hang and sitting in the dining room. There's a great family feel to it.
There isn't much in the way of appetizers but that's fine. Start with a No Boundaries Salad and create your own combo. I got a mesclun salad with Heart Song Farm goat cheese and added some organic mushrooms and red bell peppers. It's a good start but if you want to make a meal out of it, add grilled chicken or any of the meats they might have on their carne special that day or on the menu like say, homemade pepperoni. Pizzas run from $8.75 to $18.75 depending on size and toppings. If you're not familiar with the Flatbread "style" it's, um, flat, thin, with a nice smoky and crisp crust. Get a version with no sauce or with their tomato sauce, which is rich and complex. One is good for two people.
The flatbread selection also has a No Boundaries option, but I like the combos they come up with, including any specials. I'm usually not a big fan of pizza with chicken on it, but I did order their special Buffalo chicken with arugula, red onion and a light Ranch sauce. The beauty of the pie was that the chicken was not coated with the housemade sauce so there was a lightness to it that allowed the chicken flavors to come through but still get a tangy kick. All of the flavors really shone through and it's a good combination.
Also good is the Mopsy's Kalua Pork Pie with free range pork shoulder (or chicken). The pork is tender and topped with a chipotle barbecue sauce with red onions, pineapple, goat cheese, herbs and mozzarella. I very much like their use of herbs — it's smart and adds terrific flavor. They're all fresh and truly enhance the whole. The chipotle sauce is snappy and earthy at the same time. Vegans will like the dairy free pie with tomato sauce, Kalamata olives, mushrooms, caramelized onions and garlic oil. All of the dough is from organic wheat milled then with the germ put back in for added flavor and robustness along with whatever else those crazy food hippies can think up. Oh, and it's all organic. Feel good about your food, y'all.
Since all the toppings are farm fresh and organic, they have a great flavor and sauces are creative and well balanced. I don't need to go into everything I tried, but some highlights are the homemade sausage with maple and fennel, a bit of sweet with licorice flavor, and the fresh organic rosemary.
For dessert get Sarah's chocolate chip banana bread, all warm and toasty from the oven and topped with ice cream and warm chocolate sauce, or Barbara's gingerbread. For families, for bar denizens and anyone who likes to feel good about their food, the Hampton Flatbread Company is for you.