We are really looking forward to our Pause. On. Purpose (P.O.P.) retreat on April 4, 2020 just outside Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the famous Corman Zingerman’s farm. As our inaugural event begins to draw near (go here to read more and to save the date), our blog will feature some of the fabulous foodie finds in and around the town of Ann Arbor.
To kick us off, and in celebration of National Peperoni Pizza day (I kid you not, it’s a thing!), I’m going to share my favorite peperoni pizza find in Ann Arbor! I was first introduced to Mani Osteria and Bar back in March of this year, on my birthday to be precise, and trust me, there was no better birthday present than discovering and dining at this pizza powerhouse! Mani is an independently owned restaurant that delivers, in my humble opinion, some of the best pizza in the world. I have been fortunate enough to try many a pizza pie in my lifetime. I’ve walked the streets of New York while holding and folding a thin crust slice of heaven. I’ve spent over an hour in one of Chicago’s local gems patiently waiting for that thick crust pizza pie bubbling with layers and layers ooey gooey cheese to come to me tableside. I have visited the town of Naples, Italy, and sampled Neapolitan pizza at its point of inception! I have familiarized myself with the French take on pizza (with brie and pear), and the Swedish versions (often served with seafood and fresh small shrimp). I have tried the Detroit-style pizza that comes in a thick rectangle shape and boasts a fluffily crunchy base topped with fanciful flavors. I’ve had pizza served with potatoes on it. Cesar salad pizza. Dessert pizza. Trust me, I am WELL versed in the art of pizza making and eating. So, when I tell you that Mani Osteria in Ann Arbor takes the ultimate “slice,” you can and should believe me!
Mani’s pizzas are what I would describe as classic Neapolitan thin crust with flair. Their supreme pizza – served with mozzarella, bell peppers, mushrooms, sausage, pepperoni, and red onion –is one of my absolute favorites. Though to be honest, I could also quite easily be persuaded to order their classic pepperoni pizza because boy oh boy does Mani do pepperoni well! Their pepperoni is the cupping kind. The who what now, Lisa!? The cupping kind! Pizza lovers may not know but, pepperoni was originally made with natural casings that were left on the meat as it was sliced and cooked. This exterior shell contracts a bit while being cooked and creates the perfect little decadent cup to capture the full flavor and greasy goodness of the pepperoni. Yummmmy.
To compliment the pizza prize, Mani also offers a series of libations that do not disappoint. The Dolce Vita (two James gin, prosecco, blackberry-ginger syrup, and house made limoncello) is definitely a Reflection Institute favorite!) Other stars of the liquid line-up that are worth a shout-out include: the Sophia (house infused rosemary gin, lime, and tonic) and the Bicycle Thief (knickerbocker gin, St. Germain, lillet, pernod).
And as if this pizza palace isn’t already impressive enough, it ups the ante by inviting you into an ambiance that exudes Italian elegance and warmth. You can see the chefs in action and the pizzas travel through the flames before they are walked to your table and served to you atop large Italian tomato tins! It’s also about the details!
The next time you are in the Ann Arbor area, whether it be National Pepperoni Pizza day or any other day of the week, be sure to stop by Mani and have a perfectly palatable pizza palooza!