Nothing like a family pizza lunch in the countryside to put even the grumpiest teenager in a good mood. Throw in table football and super large portions and you’ve got a winner!
The heat wave seems to have brought out the worst in all of us, including the dog. Tempers are fraying, insults are flying and it’s time to get out of the house!
A FAMILY AFFAIR
We head out to Mamma Lisa Pizzeria in Puplinge on National Swiss Day, one of the hottest days of the year, 3 children and dog in tow.
Mamma Lisa has been open since October 2017 and prides itself on being a proper Italian family affair – complete with an impossibly complicated lineage of uncles, aunts, cousins, grandmothers and mother-in-laws, all of whom shared a passion for Italian food and secret, hand-me-down recipes. Brother and sister Emma and Salvatore create the famous pizzas in the wood-fire pizza oven according to a secret recipe from Naples, while a team of Italians put the final touches on the other creations in the kitchen.
A mere 18-minute drive from Geneva, the recently renovated vast old house in the countryside has a modern, vibrant feeling and offers ample parking.
The large, pretty terrace is inviting, offering a bit of respite from the relentless baking sun.
The boys immediately spot the table football in the children’s room, affording the rest us our first few moments of peace of the day as we chat and study the menu over a glass of Prosecco.
Zoë, the dog, is made to feel welcome with a bowl of water big enough to drown in and she laps up all the attention from passing waiters.
Starters include Italian specialities such as Melanzane alla parmigiana (Traditional aubergine, cheese and tomate bake with quality ingredients) and Burrata des Pouilles with tomates datterino.
We opt for a generous and simple Rucola salad with Grand Padano and a olive oil, garlic and rosemary infused focaccia to share as a starter, not wishing to spoil our appetite for the main act – the pizzas!
My Pizza Vegetariana with grilled vegetables, generous lashings of pesto and fresh basil, is deliciously satisfying – the consistency of the crust is comfortingly thick but also crusty in the right places. My husband’s Pizza 4 stagioni – looks equally yummy. Never got to try a slice!
My 9-year-old shuns the children’s menu in favour of a wagon wheel-sized Pizza Margherita and finishes it all, but one slice.
Other choices include a tuna and black olive pizza, which went down really well with the 14-year-old and the 16-year-old, who is somewhat of a carbonara expert, is mightily impressed with the very tasty cream-less spaghetti carbonara. All the pasta is handmade and you can tell the difference!
Some of the unusual gourmet pizza options on the menu include a pizza with fior di latte, stracciata di burrata, mozzarella di bufala, bacon and coffee powder! On my things to try list for next time!
The risotti – rice dishes – sound divine too – including this one: Risotto with red wine, sausage, fennel and pecorino romano. Proper comfort food!
A plat du jour (starter and main course) is served from Monday till Friday – but not during the holidays or on public holidays (19 CHF)
For dessert – the children opt for nutella pizza – they love it! – while I give in to the temptation of a traditional Tiramisu (everything that I expected and more…) although the Focaccio au nutella with Baba au Rhum and nuts also catches my attention.
Pizza prices range from 14-29CHF, comparing favourably to other family pizza restaurants in Geneva.
Spaghettti alla carbonara: 23CHF.
Dessert: From 10-18CHF
Children’s menu: 14CHF – pizza or pasta with dessert OR chicken nuggets or grilled fish with dessert.
THE CHILDREN’S ROOM
The children’s room at Mamma Lisa is a big attraction and on Sundays and public holidays the restaurant offers entertainment for children – check out their Facebook page or enquire upon booking.
Another highlight is the candy jars stacked around the restaurant. Children get to choose a few pieces of candy at the end. This impressed the sandals and branded trainers off my children and teenagers!
Even though we never mentioned that we were reviewing the restaurant, the service really couldn’t have been better. Attentive, friendly, dog-friendly, patient. Quite unusual…