March 16, 2015 Metn Mount Lebanon Lebanon Middle East

Love at First Bite: Zizo's Special Homemade Pizzas

Phone Number: +961 3 799 558

Address: Jal el Dib main road, Facing SGBL Bank, MGM Centre, Metn, Lebanon ( 12PM - 12AM)

Website: https://www.facebook.com/micellispizza

Price Range: 20-40 $

A special crust with a crispy bottom, a fluffy heart and a chewy top, generously filled with the best of ingredients and baked at home, in Zizo's own pizza oven... Tonight's dinner left me speechless.

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This is not your typical review but a special dinner I enjoyed at the Moussalli's. Follow me through this night and dine with me on the table of a lovely family who simply bake for passion and fun. It's not a restaurant review or a tasty discovery, but a few lines about a family and their unique pizzas, which could surely work in a fully fledged restaurant.

Maroun, an old friend, insisted on taking me out for dinner to meet the Moussalli's; Zizo her sons Rami, Elias and their father. This beautiful family works from home, hand-in-hand around the pizza oven, a full fledge one, they bought for their own pleasure. We were scheduled to meet at 8pm... Fresh aromas had taken the building by storm, we could hear the oven, the pizzas were taking shape, while passion and love covered every millimeter of the bases.

Before going to dinner, we were invited to the salon while a mise-en-bouche was being passed around. Small mini manakish bites of around 5 centimeters each. Crispy and crunchy mini bites, airy on the inside, crispy on the outside, like a biscuit with a strong acidic Zaatar mixed with sesame seeds on top. It was then that I knew that tonight's experience wasn't going to be an average one.

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Please, please, please, start a delivery service so people can enjoy your pizzas... It seems the family has a plan.

The Moussalli's are preparing to deliver their pizzas to your doorstep. Rami has been working on creating a menu as well as a brand name for this family business which will be starting from home. Their main aim is to share their mum's pizzas with the world. "I want people to feel the flavors of my mum's pizzas," Rami tells me, this is how "Micelli's" was born. The deliveries will be leaving Jal el Dib to the surrounding areas. They're not ready yet but feel free for any inquiry on +961 3 735345.

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Good to know before we start:

  • The prices are reasonable for the quality and size of each pizza.
  • Zizo uses only a homemade tomato sauce.
  • Those pizzas are not Italian nor American. They have a touch of their own.
  • The dough is firm and crunchy, topped with cheese that doesn't escape from the pizza as you grab a slice.
  • The edges of the pizza taste of grilled cheese, which adds a fine additional flavor.
  • For now, the minimum order is three pizzas until they organize a delivery service.

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Let's pizza:

  • Fab Four: The fabulous four is indeed fabulous. Tomato sauce, four cheeses, oregano, green peppers, olives, onions. A loaded dose of Swiss cheese, Romano cheese, blue cheese and mozzarella fill this unique dough which is not Italian, nor American but Zizo's vision of a homemade pizza, which reminded me of my grandma's.
  • The one with Caramelized Onions: You'll feel the sweetness of the caramelized onions as you take a bite. Tomato sauce, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, green peppers and black olives. A thin dough that crunches without breaking, topped with melting cheese and fresh ingredients. A hint of sweetness caresses your palate from time to time. I loved it.
  • The American: That's a different version of a pepperoni pizza, loaded with fresh mushrooms, pepperoni, American sausage, green pepper and onions. Usually pepperoni pizzas are heavy and fatty leaving a strong, spicy flavor that's not too enjoyable. This American pizza is really unique, with hotdogs, pepperoni, fresh mushrooms and cooked green peppers and when onions are used, they are so finely sliced that you don't even feel them. Two thumbs up!
  • Goat's Cheese: Called the "Il Pomodoro", this pizza is unique for its melting goat cheese and fresh tomatoes which add a certain juiciness and sweetness. Tomatoes, goat cheese, mozzarella, olives and chili olive oil. What a thing! The tomatoes add juiciness and sweetness, chunks of goat cheese that melt under the palate, a subtle spiciness, the melted mozzarella and again this unique homey dough you'll remember for a long time.
  • PorkoiPas: Spanish bacon, pork bacon slices, an assortment of peppers, tomato sauce and barbecue sauce. I believe this is my favorite. The same dough hosts delicious slices of bacon that are tender not chewy, perfectly cooked potatoes guaranteed to leave a long lasting after note, followed by the crunch of cooked peppers. The barbecue sauce adds a spiciness and sweetness in a pizza topped with balanced ingredients.
  • Sun Island: A must try! Pesto, mango chutney, bresaola, fresh mangos, mozzarella and parmesan. Can you imagine all those ingredients on a pizza? That for me is a first, and it works. Exceptionally exquisite, orgasmic pizza. The juicy, warm mangos and their sweetness, the pesto without garlic and its rich aroma, the melting cheese... Simply Wow!
  • Monsieur Croq: If you think you've tried every type of pizza, think again because this one will amaze you. Imagine a pizza without tomato sauce but simply ham, mozzarella, olives, fresh mushrooms, basil and oregano. This pizza without tomatoes is one of kind, and new to me, but it is indeed exceptional. Since the dough isn't topped with tomatoes, it becomes harder, crunchy and burnt on the sides while the cheese adds the moisture to make it tasty. Clean, neat and clear. I loved the biscuit-like crunchy borders.

I've rarely eaten so much, but I honestly couldn't stop. What makes those pizzas so special is the freshness and quality of the ingredients, as well as the special dough, which deserves a line.

The dough:

  • I loved it! Imagine this unique dough that's just fantastic. It's not thick like a fluffy American pizza, not thin like a moist Italian pizza, but a dough that's a blend of Lebanese ingredients with an international touch. I liked the crispness of the borders, the fluffiness of the heart, the stickiness of the top, the firmness of the bottom... When you think you're done, a toasted, grilled flavor erupts and puts a smile on your face. I just love it.

After dinner, Zizo had prepared a homemade New York-style baked cheesecake, with a crunchy biscuit bottom and a lemony cream core. It's simple and mouthwatering.

You can't imagine how much I love homemade food, a journey I'm trying to express in my Mechwar episodes. Tonight's experience was great on all fronts, starting with the family vibes, which touched me deeply, followed by a dinner which I'll remember for a long time. Thank you guys for having me at your table, I spent a memorable evening with you and was touched by your hospitality.

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