The food is just marvelous at Zizi Limone, drawn from the family recipes of chef Nir Mesika (of Moroccan heritage, he grew up in Israel) as well, one gathers, from his fertile imagination. He takes such classic dishes as shakshuka (an Israeli tomato stew with a fried egg on top) and elevates it with strips of perfectly medium-rare skirt steak; or slowly roasts oxtail for 5 or 6 hours before encasing it in a filo dough shell and serving it with two delicious dipping sauces. Even such classics as a lamb kebab sandwich taste special here, as they’re topped with a fabulous hummus and served in fresh-from-the-oven pita breads. Don’t you dare skip dessert: Mesika’s grandfather was a baker for the king of Morocco, and he turns out pastries that are as light as a dream. A final reason to head here? It gets you into the heart of artsy Willliamsburg, Brooklyn, a delightful place for a stroll.
- Pauline Frommer