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Pizza Nonna: Wood Baked, Crunchy and Rich
How great it is to walk into a place that's brightly lit, full of life and oozing freshness, a fresh smell and pizza aromas grabbing you in as you walk up the couple of stairs to Nonna, an Italian eatery in Beirut. I'd been here at night and now I was back to see the bright colors of their pizzas I always enjoy in Dbayeh.
Nonna is your neighborhood restaurant located on the corner of Monot and Abdel Wahab. Music playing in the background, I was welcomed by a positive staff ready to serve lunch. Nona has a menu touring around the pizza oven. Italian starters, the famous thin pizzas, some salads, sides and the antipizza, which are pasta and the burger. Any pizza can be served with a whole in the middle making it lighter and fresher with some added greens.
White wooden walls, red lights hanging from the ceiling, wooden logs decorating the first dining space, light coming in all around making it easy to take photos of those beautiful plates.
Starters and pizzas followed:
- Bruschetta goat cheese and Parma ham: Four slices of bread spread with goat cheese, decorated with Rochester leaves and covered with Parma ham with fig ham on top. Balsamic vinegar adds a touch of color and more flavor. Taste wise, the mix is perfect but the bread... Too chewy for a bruschetta and not crunchy. I expected something airy and crunchy. The chewiness spoils the enjoyment turning finesse into a sandwich.
- Not available on the menu, the truffle Parmesan fries. They are to die for! Mini yellow fries cut to perfection served in a metallic fryer and covered with truffle oil. Richly aromatic, superbly crunchy and the Parmesan cheese caresses your palate in style. They're so good and recommended.
- Montanara: Tomato sauce, moutarde a l'ancienne, fresh goat cheese, Parma ham, rocket, balsamic reduction. A preparation that's sweet, crunchy, full bodied, fresh and extremely enjoyable. The dough is Aurore, the crunchy border, the fine mustard, the sweetness of this balsamic reduction, the chunks of goat cheese sticking to your teeth stylishly... Yummy!
- Boscaiola: Tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, truffle oil, Parma ham. Excellent, the pizza is simply excellent. It looks so mouthwatering! So thin and fresh, feeling light and most importantly not soaked. The borders are crunchy which makes you devour them before the pizza itself. The aromatic truffles, the tender mushrooms, the thinly sliced ham, the molten cheese and the rich, acidic tomato sauce. If this pizza was one of my favorite ten in Lebanon, consider it now as part of my top three.
The best part: Knowing that I didn't like the Bruschetta, it was removed from the menu and the manager said, "You pay for what you like". Appreciated!
An enjoyable lunch from start to end. Good service, positive vibes, fresh music and the pizzas... Perfect, just perfect, the pizzas are amazing!