From the brains behind Bar D'O comes a new Zamalek hot spot serving authentic Italian pizza and all the drinks you can dream of in once gorgeous place.
It’s hard to find a good, authentic, crispy-based, gooey-topped Italian pizza in Cairo. It’s even harder to wash that elusive slice down with a cold beer or cool cocktail, as no restaurants in Egypt seem to have cottoned on to the fact that pizza and drinks are the ultimate combination. Until now. Currently in soft opening, O.Liv.o, from the makers of cool New York-style bar Bar D’O, combines the gourmet food of Milan with the ultra-cool vibe of Manhattan for Cairo’s first ever pizzeria AND bar.
We headed over the private launch of the new hotspot at 20 Taha Hussein Street (inside the New President Hotel, a few steps from Bar D’O) and were transported to a bustling cosmopolitan bar that wouldn’t feel out of place in SoHo, filled with jet setters during fashion week – you know, if fashion people ate.
Painted in white with brilliant Japanese pop art adorning the walls (“We’ll rotate the art every month, but it’ll always be vibrant,” says owner and founder Khaled Sabry), it has the same vibe as Bar D’O but with a brighter, food-friendly atmosphere. Jazzy renditions of pop songs play quietly in the background, letting you focus on the more important things – the menus. First , let’s talk food. With a concise pizza menu, all the classics are there, from margherita and quatro formaggi to bresaolo, spicy salami. With a traditional brick oven glowing in the corner and their ACTUALLY ITALIAN chef spinning and tossing dough around like it’s easy, you immediately get the sense that these guys know what they’re doing. And based on what we ate, they definitely do!
We went for both the margherita and the vegetarian and both were served piping hot, on a thin crispy base made with flour imported from Italy, with actual tomato sauce and actual mozzarella – a far cry from the sort of pizza usually served in Egypt. Alongside their pizza menu, they also serve a selection of simple, fresh salads and a unique bar dip made with roasted vegetables and parmesan, served with freshly baked schiacciata bread. Each bite of our pizza came with automatic oohing and aahing as it was literally the best pizza we’ve had this side of the Med.
And then came dessert. Again, the menu is brief: a Nutella and marshmallow pizza that made us feel things that are too dirty to put in words, lemon sorbet and a boozy lemon sorbet made with limoncello. Speaking of booze, expect all the brilliant cocktails Bar D’O is famous for, served in their even more famous jars, as well as their to-die-for Sangria pitchers. It’s a full bar, so you can choose any of your favourite cocktails, or have your spirits neat, while the beer and wine lists contain all the usual suspects. This is definitely our new favourite spot, and although in this soft opening phase they only operate during the evening, the team there told us they’ll be opening during the day for lunch and even delivering their authentic pizzas after the Eid break.
O.Liv.O is located at 20 Taha Hussein Street, inside the New President Hotel. Call 02 2736 6766 for reservation.