Monday, October 12, 2009

Pizzeria Stella

For a quick bite on the way to a Sixers pre-season game, we stopped in to check out the newly opened Pizzeria Stella, Stephen Starr's latest venture located right on Headhouse Square in the old Cosi spot. On a Friday evening around 6 there were plenty of open tables inside and out. But they didn't last long. There could be a bar, but we didn't stay inside long enough to notice. It was too nice outside. Besides this place is more about eating than getting your drink on (Which you can do if you so choose. It's not a byob.) What I did notice, however, was the large open dining space, open kitchen and ceiling-high pile of cut wood for the oven.

A glance of the menu showed a short list of wines, all by the glass. And, the beer list--while also short--included a selection like Lagunitas made it interesting.

We split an order of the calamari and octopus salad with new potatoes, olives, red onions and dressed with olive oil ($5). It was fresh, not chewy, and light. Thumbs up. We also split the Margherita pizza with buffalo mozzerella and topped with leaves of basil ($13). The pizzas are sized as individual with a very thin crust, which makes them light and easy for one person to finish. The sauce wasn't sweet and the cheese wasn't too greasy. All wins in my pizza book.

I overheard our dining neighbors raving about something with an egg over easy. It could either be the Tartufo pizza (black truffle, fontina, egg, parmesan) or the Asparagus (sunny side up egg, parmesan, olive oil). I'm guessing the Asparagus. Either way, he said it was something he's never before tasted - and it sounded like he wanted more.

We definitely want more. We'll be going back.

March 18, 2010: Edited to add a return visit.

Not as good as the first, I'm disappointed to say. It was a Thursday. Early evening, like 6:30ish. Plenty o' tables to be had, but still a decent crowd. The hubby and I were seated at a communal table, which was empty, on the end, closest to the people traffic. As I'm eyeballing the hubby about this predicament, the hostess promptly seats a family with two very young children directly next to us. Ummmm, oblivious, anyone? We were out without our kids. A couple. On a date. Fortunately, our neighbors recognized the situation and asked to be moved to a separate booth. But still. Get smart hostess! Aside from that, the food was good, but not great. Might've been an off night. Just thought you should know.


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