All of the hype I heard about this place before coming was correct. It’s basically the next best thing to being in Italy. They really have their spice, flavor and texture combos down perfectly, and it’s even possible to enjoy this place on a budget. In a world where ‘Sicilian style thin crust pizza’ is everywhere and it usually falls short in my opinion, Mani Osteria made me a convert just when I was about to swear it off. Chewy, crusty and smoky crust… oozing and browned artisanal cheeses and varied ingredients make the mark (try the burrata pizza!)
As with so many other places, go during happy hour and enjoy their wine, appetizers and pizzas which are discounted during the hours of 4:00-6:00. However, two items NOT on the happy hour list must be ordered or you’ll sadly miss out. Their pork belly is the BEST pork belly I’ve ever had. I tried to share it once and had to order my own after it’s so addictive. It’s perfectly seared on the outside, melt-in-your-mouth on the inside, the fatty, salty pork belly taste I love… but with a very delicious addition of apricot sauce adding a sweet, sticky glaze. I can’t capture in words how amazing it is. The other MUST EAT is the whipped ricotta, pickled tomatoes, tapenade and salted French bread appetizer. It’s better than it sounds.
No need to order entrees here, though I’m sure they’re great. Stick with appetizers, especially the two I mentioned, and you’ll be a happy camper. I did try to order two pasta dishes once at the recommendation of our server, and I have no memory of them. Either they weren’t fantastic or the other two dishes outshone them. Either way, next time you’re in Ann Arbor make a reservation or come on the early side of happy hour because it fills up for good reason.
Mani Osteria's Website
Giving you a taste of what I taste. From gourmet to everyday. No pretentious bull - just good food.