Thursday, 12 September 2013

Zazaza arrives in Hintonburg

The newest addition to the Zazaza family (the second brain-child of the original burger entrepreneur and creator of the Works, Ion Aimers) officially opened this past Monday at 1079 Wellington - right across from another neighbourhood pizzeria, Tennessy Willems. Controversial, yes?

But Mr. Aimers put to bed any competitive rumours in an Ottawa Citizen blog post earlier this year:

"I have great respect for Tennessy Willems, who make a fine product. But among other things, our crust is very different — more chewy, oily, thin — while theirs is a little more airy. It’s just different.
“Both products are very good and we look forward to sharing the neighbourhood with them. You know, nobody eats at the same restaurant four days a week so there’s lots of room for everybody. I really believe Hintonburg is becoming a destination eating neighbourhood.”
Fabulously said. Let's move on then.

I was privileged enough to go to a soft-open over the weekend. In true Aimers-style, there was a charitable segment to the evening: every couple that came in was given a free pizza to share as well as homemade lemonade and ice tea on the house in exchange for a donation to the Parkdale food centre. Although they were not taking reservations during the trial-run over the weekend, I would strongly suggest making one when visiting the Za in the near future. Hintonburgians are definitely excited about coming to eat here. 

The theme of the restaurant is very relaxed-formal. There is damask wall-papering, very theatrical decor, and linen napkins rather than paper. The staff uniforms are the first place you'll notice the charming clash of styles: long black aprons, white dress shirts, and ties, which is an attire typically found in more upscale (read: pricey) restaurants but they are tapered off nicely with jeans and converse-style shoes.

The menu, referred to as the "playbill", and organized alphabetically, is also very dramatic with different sized fonts, and clever names. Start by choosing your crust: regular white is dusted cornmeal, whole wheat is honey oat, and a gluten free crust made with chick pea flour. There are more "regular" pizzas like the Italian Too with pesto oil, parmesan, grilled eggplant, grilled zucchini, tomatoes, fresh basil, and bocconcini - and there are the out-there-combinations like the Scary Roomate, boasting kraft dinner and hot dogs among other cheeses and tomato sauce.

We started off with wine, I ADORE that it comes in a stemless wine glass - part of the more causal-class feel.

Every table is offered their own homemade creamy-coleslaw to enjoy whilst waiting for their pizza.

We ordered the two appetizers to start: Goodness Gracious Goat Balls of Fire and Sweet Potato Cross Cuts. The Works is the first place I ever tried sweet potato fries, it seemed only reasonable to try the spin-off. Both appys come served in an adorable little shoe.

oh. my. gawd. these little goat cheese-y balls of glorious goodness are AMAZING. can be messy though so have a side plate and napkin at the ready.

We decided to split the California Caprese: pesto sauce, sliced tomato, bocconcini, fresh basil, avocado, and a balsamic drizzle on the honey oat crust.

seriously delicious.

Although we were entirely stuffed, we were easily persuaded to consider dessert pizza:

The Crispy Punch: peanut butter sauce, milk chocolate chips, crispy crunch chunks, dark chocolate chips, and whipped cream


I'm a Good Girlfriend: Nutella sauce, berries, braised marshmallows, and icing sugar dust.

Crispy Crunch would have been my choice, but unfortunately (more like fortunately) they weren't yet making dessert pizzas. But I will SO be back for that pizza.

And since we had dessert on the brain, we decided to head to Stella Luna for a gelato. A sweet ending to an amazing night.

pistachio and chocolate

1 comment:

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