L at Bedford Ave.; G, L at Metropolitan Ave.-Lorimer St.; J, M, Z at Marcy Ave.
South 8th St. to Manhattan Ave., Bushwick Ave. to Kent Ave.
The spirit of this hip Medi hangout is the restaurant’s namesake Zizi, the “mythical Mediterranean mother” who combines the cuisine’s regional inspirations—North Africa, Spain, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and Morocco—into a giant melting pot of a menu. The offerings run the gamut of traditional Mediterranean (kebabs, hummus, bureka) to near-fusion dishes, like the French-inspired sabih croissant, with grilled eggplant, potato salad, tomato, and egg; and the Moroccan oxtail tanzia. The complimentary pita and hummus at the start of every course is delicious enough to be a meal of itself, but the list of appetizers—“Small Zi’s”—will encourage you to explore. Items include shisito peppers, grilled baby eggplant, and a velvety smooth, smoky baba ghannouj, with feta cheese, basil, and pita. The lamb kebab, on the “Big Zi’s” entrées menu, doesn’t come on a skewer—adjust your expectations—but instead is deliciously nestled inside two pita halves, filled with black baba ghannouj, crunchy onions, and spicy peppers and topped with parsley. The shawarma is decent, yet the creamy hummus and un-mashed chickpeas overpower the pieces of chicken and lamb: Ask for extra pita to make your own wrap. The beer and wine list is small yet varied enough to highlight the flavors of your meal, but the house cocktail, made with passion fruit wine, mint, and San Pellegrino, is the perfect end to any summer evening.Note
Want to bring the memory of the restaurant home? Browse the cupboard of Turkish delicacies, like extra virgin olive oil, Turkish coffee cups and pots, rose water, honey, and various spices.Recommended Dishes
Crazy Baba, $6; lamb kebab, $16