November 29, 2009

Pizzeria Stella

Pizzeria Stella is the much hyped and much discussed pizza place by Stephen Starr. We waited a few weeks since it recently opened - let them works out the kinks a bit. After a full day of playing tourist in Philly it was the perfect time to try it out.

First let me say that I am always wary of hyped-up pizza places or places claiming to be just like you get in Italy. They never turn out to be worth the price or the hype. I've had pizza in Italy and yes it is amazing (although some are just normal), but half of the taste comes from the novelty of eating in Italy. I am a tough sell when it comes to pizza. It is a simple recipe and you can can get good pizza all over and in holes in the wall.

That said, Pizzeria Stella was very good. I was not blown away, but worth trying.

We had the Piccante (capicola, aged provolone, crushed red pepper, tomato). It had a nice spice to it and the thin crust was good although a bit soggy in the middle. I thought it could use a bit more cheese too. The other pizzas I saw all looked very good. They are 12 inches so not too big. You are torn between ordering one for each person. For the price we stuck for splitting.

For an appetizer we had the Arancini, which is a risotto and parmesan ball with marinara. Very very good!

Pizzeria Stella had a nice beer and wine list although I would say overpriced. But, that is what you get at a Stephen Starr place.

The atmosphere was good. It had a lot of kids when we were there around 6:30. The wood fired oven is front and center and they make the pizzas for everyone to see. There is bar seating in front of the wood fired oven and I would ask to sit in one of those seats next time. Also, I imagine they have outside seating when it is nice. Sitting outside with a pizza and some wine on a nice day would perfect.

The verdict. Pizzeria Stella is worth checking out and I would go back for more. You will not hear me say it is must have pizza I have ever had, but worth going for a very good, high quality pizza. It is also a nice addition to Headhouse Square.

Pizzeria Stella on Urbanspoon

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