Mar Yousef’s Pizza

Salami verdure, and margherita. (Photos: Raja Attar/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Tucked away at St. Joseph’s Church near the 1st circle, Mar Yousef’s Pizza opened its doors in 2017.اضافة اعلان

Besides the deliciously fresh food, it is the story behind this humble establishment that makes it truly unique.

Young Iraqi refugees who fled persecution at the hands of Daesh were given the opportunity to work and learn necessary culinary skills to help them make a living and much more.

It took very little to convince my friends to join me.

We hopped in a cab and made our way to the church. The restaurant is tucked away in one of the church’s courtyards. We were greeted by two very friendly staff members who helped us with a table even though we didn’t make a reservation.

 The seating area is extremely charming and simple, light bulbs hung between the trees, the atmosphere was very calm even though most tables were booked. Knowing that the staff were trained to make their own pasta, cheeses, and gelato, we knew we had to try as many dishes as possible.

Mozzarella caprese. (Photos: Raja Attar/Jordan News)

For starters we ordered the mozzarella caprese and a beetroot salad.

Then we ordered three kinds of pizza - salami, margherita, and verdure.

We had our hearts set on ordering the mushroom ravioli and the gnocchi but the waiter told us they were completely sold out for the day, so we ordered the parmigiana and the tagliatelle al funghi porcini instead.

As for dessert we decided to try two kinds of gelato: pistachio and Nutella.

The food didn’t take long to arrive. First to arrive was the mozzarella caprese, a generous portion of freshly made mozzarella, tomato slices, sliced focaccia, and olive oil with a sprinkle of oregano.

Beetroot salad (Photos: Raja Attar/Jordan News)

Each ingredient plays a part in creating this beautiful medley of flavors and textures. Most importantly, the mozzarella tasted fresh and clean. An excellent beginning for what was looking like an already excellent meal. The beetroot salad was extremely refreshing.

Cubes of beetroot served with pomegranate, grated carrots, and finely chopped arugula, all dressed in a well-balanced olive oil and vinegar dressing. Once again, simple, fresh, and delicious. We were pleased to see the pizza arrive. It was made with focaccia dough which was far from what I had expected.

Each serving was four slices of each pizza neatly cut into squares. While the focaccia dough was airy and fluffy. I personally thought a little more tomato sauce could have made it much better as it provides much needed moisture to each slice.

Salami verdure, and margherita. (Photos: Raja Attar/Jordan News)

Each pizza was served with a healthy portion of cheese. My personal favorite was the verdure, as the vegetables provided what I thought was missing from the salami and margherita pizzas. The pastas arrived as we were putting the remaining pizza aside to take with us. The parmigiana was well-built, layers of sliced eggplant with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and a touch of Parmigiano cheese. 

It was hitting all the right notes, the flavor of the tomato sauce was present, the eggplant was perfectly prepared and cooked, the mozzarella cheese was subtle. I felt like the tomato sauce could have had a richer and deeper flavor, it was also a bit under seasoned.

Finally, we dove into the final main meal of the evening, the tagliatelle al funghi porcini. There was a generous portion of fresh made pasta topped with a rich and creamy white sauce with delicious porcini mush[1]rooms. A very simple and elegant dish. The pasta was perfect and to my liking, it was soft yet it retained a bit of bite.

As a fan of creamy mushroom pasta, this was ticking all the right boxes for me and more. The sauce was rich and silky but not heavy. The mushrooms provided a gentle touch of earthiness and some texture to the deliciously rich and silky cream sauce.

Gelato, pistachio and Nutella. (Photos: Raja Attar/Jordan News)

Paired with the fresh made pasta, this was easily my favorite of the night. Of course, no good meal should end without dessert so we ordered two scoops of gelato, one pistachio, the other fior di latte.

The quality of a good gelato is measured by how good the fior di latte is, theirs did not disappoint.

The fior di latte was pleasantly milky and floral. The pistachio was equally delicious, especially with the addition of crushed pistachios.

Although it was a bit sweeter than I would have liked, it was a perfect way to wrap up a great meal.

Read more Lifestyle