NAPOLITANA IN GEMMAYZE
Freshly-opened PizzAria in Gemmayze serves handmade Napolitana pizza and Lebanese manouche.
Fady Abounaoum had been working for Nestlé in Dubai for years, with a high-powered job overseeing chocolate production in the Middle East. But in the back of his mind, he always had the dream of opening a pizza place. On a recent trip to Italy with his wife he decided to just go for it. “The environment, the food… it triggered my passion,” Abounaoum said yesterday, perched on a stool outside his new shop, his own black shirt and pants covered with a healthy dusting of flour from the day’s work making pizza.
He traveled to Naples and studied under the region’s top pizza makers, or pizzaolis, to learn how to make authentic Napolitana pizza. In contrast to regular Italian pizza, which is flat, Napolitana pizza must be more than 30 cm wide, with a crust 2 cm wide and a center 0.4 cm thick. But since every pizza is handmade, each one ends up being a little bit different. “It’s like a human thing — it has its own DNA,” Abounaoum says. All his ingredients, from the mozzarella cheese are imported directly from Naples — even the wood-fired oven used to prepare the pizza.
PizzAria, which opened just a few days ago, is located on Gouraud Street in Gemmayze. The shop has 20 seats inside — and an warm, inviting atmosphere, but you can also just order delivery. The store opens at 8:30 in the morning to serve bread sticks with Nutella and manouche made from the same tasty dough as the pizza. (The zaatar for the manouche is sourced locally, while the cheese comes from the Czech Republic.) When it comes to ingredients, “We don’t compromise,” Abounaoum says.
Gouraud St., Gemmayze