A true Brighton Pizzeria

Lucy and I have been waiting for the refurb of Morelli Zorelli and finally tonight, we are heading back in to Hove to give it a try.  Recently, we have moved to the London Road end of Brighton but visiting Hove is always a treat and nice to be back in our old familiar surroundings. Morelli Zorelli is situated on Western Road just next to the Freemasons pub.

Morelli Zorelli Logo on wall

A great new look!

They have changed their red restaurant for a subtle navy with a relaxed brickwork design, open front and inviting lighting.  The staff are there to greet us at the door and they show us to our table.  As we are early we have the choice of seats and choose to sit by the stone baked oven to watch the chef in action.

If you enjoy a bit of people watching, I suggest you choose your pew in the window and watch the world go by!

Light filaments at Morelli Zorelli, Pizza Restaurant, Hove

What to drink…

Being mid-week and having had a long day at work my thoughts first go to the drinks menu and I see a great array of local beers.  I choose the Brighton Bier pale ale; something a lighter, though they offer a great IPA as well.  Lucy chooses the recommended South African Chenin Blanc, mixing it up slightly from her usual Sauvignon Blanc.

The beer is great and I love the little cans rather than just a normal bottle; something to stand out from the crowd and it tastes superb as well.  The wine meets Lucy’s expectations and we are more than happy as we catch up on our day’s events and look through the wonderful menu.

Craft beer at Morelli Zorelli

Bursting with flavour

On recommendation of the waiter, we order the Chilli and Garlic King Prawns as he couldn’t speak more highly of them.  To accompany these to start, I can never resist the breaded mozzarella sticks known as the Mozzarella Bocconcini.

We have four huge king prawns sitting proudly around a bowl, dressed in garlic and chilli oil with a wedge of lemon resting in the middle to drizzle as you please.

Bursting with flavour, you can taste the freshness of the prawns; there is just the right amount of heat from the chilli and the balance of garlic which does not take away from the taste of the prawns.  It is clear these have been cooked with care by a chef who knows how to get the most from the local ingredients; my only regret is that I have to share these with Lucy.

King size prawns - Morelli Zorelli, Pizza Restaurant, Hove

Scrumptious mozzarella sticks

The breaded mozzarella sticks are coated with panko breadcrumbs which gives a better texture to the normal breadcrumbs and adds a lovely crunch, the cheese is gooey inside and the peppery rocket garnish adds another dimension.  If you live nearby, grab a plate of these on the way home for a little snack before dinner or grab a seat in the relaxed restaurant, they really are scrumptious!

Mozzarella sticks, Morelli Zorelli

Too much? Take it home!

I have to be honest, I had made my mind up for my pizza choice a couple of nights before looking at the menu online.  If you advertise a wild boar and pancetta pizza I am going to struggle to look further down the menu, my only concern is with the starters, will I be able to fit it all in?  Before I can say anything, the waiter offers to put anything we can’t manage in to takeaway boxes so I am very happy.

Caters for everyone

Lucy ponders over the menu and with a great choice of vegetarian and vegan options as well, this really caters for everyone.  No one needs to feel left out here, they look after their customers and cater for gluten free as well, it really is great to see!  After much deliberation, Lucy chooses the Veggie BBQ Chicken pizza and we sit anticipating our mains as we have had the pleasure of watching the chef sending out freshly made pizzas to the other tables.

You can smell the sourdough cooking in the traditional wood flame oven with delightful aromas filling the restaurant making our mouths water.

Pizza oven at Morelli Zorelli

Pizza to die for

When my pizza comes out I cannot wait to dive in, there is no scrimping on toppings here with lovely slices of the wild boar overlapping the thick slices of smoky pancetta.  What I love is the perfectly places basil leaves just to add a little colour that brings everything alive.  The base is crisp and thin, the edges slightly charred adding that charcoal flavour, no grease insight and everything made right in front of you.  Morelli Zorelli, you have made a pizza to die for.  This is worth visiting for, over and over again.  I believe you should always try new things, but when a pizza is this good it is so hard to go elsewhere on the menu.

Wild boar & pancetta pizza, Morelli Zorelli

Toppings galore

Lucy’s Veggie BBQ Chicken pizza looks amazing with generous toppings of Vegan ‘chicken’, mixed peppers and fresh red onion, the colours jump off the plate and shout “eat me”!  The dark BBQ sauce drizzled over the pizza makes this all the more inviting and for the vegans out there, they offer a vegan cheese as well.  Prior to my visit, I was unsure about vegan chicken so with the first bite, I am pleasantly surprised.  I am not going to say this tastes like chicken but it is a wonderful hearty alternative which makes a fantastic pizza topping.  I would not like to call this a substitute as it is a great topping in its own right.

I have a couple of close vegan friends that I will be bringing back very soon.

Veggie BBQ Chicken pizza, Morelli Zorelli

Dessert time

Though very full, the waiter persuades me and Lucy to try some desserts.  I have to opt for the ice cream as I need something a little lighter and they have a fantastic selection.  The most popular being a jaffa cake ice cream the waiter tells me but I have to try the unusual avocado and mango ice cream.  Lucy orders the salted caramel brownie with the pistachio ice cream; an Italian classic.

Salted caramel brownie & pistachio ice cream, Morelli Zorelli

Smiling from ear to ear

I cannot believe how great the avocado works in an ice cream, I hadn’t considered the creamy texture of the avocado would make for the perfect ice cream without overpowering any flavour.

The mango bites just add bursts of freshness and I finish the tub very quickly – what a pleasant and superb surprise!

The caramel brownie is rich and gooey, the salted sprinkles cutting through the caramel taste.  This is certainly for those who love a rich dessert but if you add the pistachio ice cream this makes the dish lighter and adds the almost marzipan taste from the pistachio. Lucy is smiling from ear to ear and I just know we will be back soon.

Avocado & Mango Ice Cream, Morelli Zorelli

We’ll be back soon!

With the new decor, amazing staff, great selection of new drinks and Ice creams, Morelli Zorelli is on to a winner and I’m sure, will be a long lasting Brighton and Hove favourite.  As we leave, the restaurant is buzzing and filling up; it is only a Tuesday night so something tells me this will soon to be one to book in advance.

If you can’t make it to the restaurant or just fancy munching in your home comforts then why not take advantage of the Morelli Zorelli delivery service? They aim to relaunch this popular service within the next two weeks so keep an eye out!

Making the pizza at Morelli Zorelli, Pizza Restaurant, Hove

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