For those of you local to Ann Arbor or planning to visit for The Game. Mani Osteria & Bar was named the best pizza in Michigan by Mlive. They visited 33 reader submitted restaurants around the state and chose the Ann Arbor location as the best.
The founders of Mani wanted to have both a family-style Italian restaurant and high-style dining, and they hit the mark. "I hope we are re-energizing the Italian-American cuisine. It's something I grew up with," said chef Brendan McCall. "We want this to be approachable, like an Italian American diner restaurant.....this should be a family restaurant. That's the end goal." The staff was extremely knowledgeable and provided great service, answering questions on pizzas and the ingredients. A lot has been written about their wood-fire stoves, but the star of the menu is Executive Chef McCall, who pushes the boundaries of typical flavors. Take the Cippolini pizza -- our choice for Michigan's Best Pizza 2013 -- with mozzarella, roasted arugula, bacon and balsamic, for example, as well as the savory Sausage & Peppers with smoked scamorza, pepperonata and chile pesto. After a few bites, we wanted to keep eating more. The sauce also shines, and features San Marzano tomatoes that are strained and blended with spices to give it a rich and zesty bite. The cheeses are rich and buttery and the ingredients are locally sourced. Their most popular pizza is the Margherita, which has fior di latte, san marzano tomatoes and basil.