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Zizi is the second restaurant from the team behind Brooklyn’s Zizi Limona that sneakily set up shop in Chelsea at the end of last year. Now that the secret is out, Socially Superlative was invited out to try some of their best dishes and very boozy cocktails in the new inviting and buzzy space.

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Run by owner Sharon Hoota and Executive Chef Liran Leibman, Zizi combines the diverse regional cuisines of Turkey, Spain, Israel, Tunisia, Morocco and Greece and takes a modern Mediterranean spin on it. We witnessed this firsthand with the food and drinks we tried.

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For cocktails, we started with the Moroccan Tea Party (rosemary smoke, peanut butter rum, Forthave amaro, mint, pinenut, served in Morrocan tea cups), which I do not suggest as a first round because it is very boozy and serves more as a nightcap! The great presentation is perfect for when you want to impress friends or family.

Zizi, photo by Socially Superlative (2)

We also tried the Rosewater Martini (Forthave blue gin, RR dry vermouth, elderflower, rosewater), and The Promised Land (Catskill’s honey bourbon, Forthave apertivo, mastiha, orange bitters, soaked fig), which were both balanced perfectly.

Zizi, photo by Socially Superlative (5)

For dinner, we started with the Crazy Baba, charred eggplant, feta, basil, where the brightness of the basil shined through. We moved on to the Burrata with sourdough, pear and apple mostarda, pinenuts, balsamic, sage, thyme salt. The softness of the cheese and crunchiness of the bread melded perfectly together. The flavors of the mostarda, balsamic and the traditional element of pine nuts were just icing on the cake.

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The Lamburger (blacken babaganoush, preserved lemon aioli, brioche) was cooked perfectly and was very juicy. We also had Lamb Neck (lalfa, fresh herbs, smoked almonds, pine nuts, sheep yogurt), in what was like an open-faced taco and although the ingredients were out of the ordinary, the dish was very tasty.

Zizi, photo by Socially Superlative (10) Zizi, photo by Socially Superlative (9)

Ending on a sweet note, we were treated to the Rosewater Malabi (French-style creme brulee, creme anglaise, maraschino cherries, berries, rosewater, coconut, pistachio) which tasted like a heavy Greek yogurt, and the Halva Parfait (hazelnut crumble, lime perfumed, creme anglaise, maraschino cherries), which had a peanut butter quality to it and was so good we had seconds!

Zizi is a great, vibrant setting to bring friends, family and loved ones to share a meal. We will definitely be back!

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– Stephanie Carino

Zizi
182 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10011

Photos via Zizi and by Socially Superlative

Zizi: Mediterranean Cuisine in Chelsea