I’m not Italian. I’m actually remarkably un-Italian. As a pastiche of Persian-German-Irish-French parts, I have Italy pretty much surrounded from a geographical standpoint, but not occupied. This, however, is not an issue whatsoever as apparently I appear to be very Italian.
Entering Ober Mamma I was welcomed in by a 30 something Italian man wearing a Yankees hat. Just shy of hugging me he bursted, “Buon giorno! Sei Italiano??” His eyes huge, revealing he was already past my answer and calculating where in Italy I was visiting from.
“Ah no, not Italian. American.”
“Ah, AMERICA. NEW YORK?”
“I LOVE NEW YORK!” (Points to his hat.) “You too?” (motioning to my parents.)
“No, California…” anticipating massive disappointment that was sure to come inevitably.
“CALIFORNIA! WHAT’S UP BROS! COME IN!!!”
We’re already in, but now we’re really in.
“Where in California?”
“SAN FRAN! WARRIORS! STEPH CURRY! CONGRATS BROS!!!!”
This was how we met and fell for Sam, who pointed out, “Sam, like your Uncle Sam” as if we could ever forget this guy.
Just like Uncle Sam, Ober Mamma is a FUNNY son of a gun. Take the “Badass Napoli” pizza or “Mummy’s Been a Bad Bad Girl” cocktail. The napkins even read, “Mamma Loves You” in dainty red cursive.
But let’s keep it 100. Some cheeky menu verbiage and sleek interiors are not what we’re here for. And it would all just be sad if the pizza didn’t deliver.
This is my paean to Mamma. Virtually every ingredient is imported from Italy (with the exception of some produce which is sourced nearby.) The flour, the prosciutto drying from the ceiling, the tomatoes, the mozzarella. The food rivals that of Pizzeria Mozza for this exact reason. And God knows my religion is pizza and I consider Nancy Silverton a holy saint.
So, when you tire of eating French food in Paris (and you will) head over to the 10th, give Uncle Sam a pound and let Mamma take care of you.
The Script: What to Order
Cocktails – Summer Spritz (dolin rouge, grapefruit juice, ginger, peppermint, prosecco and seltzer water) this is estival survival 101. have at least a couple.
Rosé – it was August so this was obligatory. they have a massive wine cellar so whether your mom “needs” a Sauv Blanc or dad “has to have” a California Pinot, everyone can imbibe blissfully.
Mamma’s Caesar Salad – chicken on top. and this chicken actually tastes like someone actually gave a squat in raising it. not like it could’ve ended up at a Subway or here depending which bus it got on.
Summer Mamma – greens, quinoa, peaches, green beans, figs, ricotta, with a dressing so good if it were in a long glass with a lime I would’ve drank it.
Mammargherita DOP – buffala mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, basil. Mom ain’t messing around with this one.
Napoli Badass – spicy sausage, mozzarella, red and yellow peppers, basil… best pizza in Paris right here.
Truffle Pasta – black Italian truffles, mascarpone cheese, mushrooms swimming beautifully with fresh ribbons of pasta in a copper sauce pan direct from the oven.
Panna Cotta with Peaches – by this point I was in a brownout (not to be confused with a blackout) from overconsumption. but I can tell you the plate was clean, no whimpy last bite of dessert lingering here.