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Oct 3, 2009 08:04 AM

Any Stella Early Reports?

Some pictures that I saw of the pies (I think, from Grub Street?) looked terrific. Anyone been yet?

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  1. I tried it this week, the margherita pizza I tried was limp and floppy in the center, with precious few basil leaves scattered unevenly on top. It was OK overall, but after reading about how Starr went to all these pizzerias researching it, I expected a nice crust on the pizza. I'm not in any hurry to go back. I actually liked my small plate (lentil and sausage ragu) a lot more than the pizza. Also, they have these two long communal tables at which the seats are uncomfortably close together. I was about a foot or two away from the person next to me, if we both had our elbows out at the same time we would have been bumping into each other. The most uncomfortably close quarters I had previously been in was at Django back in the day, the cramped quarters there were mentioned by many people as just a bit too much. Stella is worse. However, the room is split about 50/50 between those two long tables and an assortment of 2- and 4-tops. Or you can sit at the bar and watch the pizzas being made.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Buckethead

      We (myself, husband, & son(15) went Wed around 9. No reservations, waited around 30 minutes for an inside table (plenty outside),
      Ordered 3 pizzas, I forget the names..1. clam with brocolli rabe...great; 2. Tartufo..blk. truffle, fontina, egg, & parm...pretty good 3. proscuitto, smoked mozzarella, arugula...ok.
      With 1 small glass of wine, beer, and soda (really good from Kutztown) it came to about $85 with tip.
      No problem with limp crusts and I'm glad we tried it...I'd go back..but I wasn't no rush! For us, it's better suited for a late night snack... next time I'd share a small plate and a pizza.

    2. Stopped in yesterday for lunch because I was in the area, which is rare.

      It was good, but like Pat J I won't rush back. I had the balsamic onions - good, but nothing memorable - and the San Daniele Pizza (proscuitto, smoked mozzarella & arugula). The dough was good, although a little over-charred and unevenly charred for my taste. The toppings were good, and I enjoyed the pizza...but I walked away feeling like it just wasn't worth my money to have been there.

      1. I just went for lunch. 1:30pm on Saturday. Busy, but a few tables open inside and out.

        The pizza was definitely good, but not sadly not great. The margherita was a pretty big disappointment... just not much flavor. I think it needed a bit more sauce? The Tartufo was great. Although the egg was a tad runny, the flavor was amazing. Also had the one with smoked mozzarella, arugula and prosciutto. Pretty good, but a bit dry. The crust all around was good and nicely charred, although a little soft on the wetter pies.

        We also had the sausage and lentil ragu which was pretty awesome.

        Overall, it's good pizza but definitely pricey and doesn't blow me away like the experiences I've had at places like Grimaldi's and Pizzeria Regina. A solid B on this effort.

        1. I joined friends there for a late lunch yesterday and I thought it was some of the best pepperoni pizza that I've had in Philly. Also had the clam pizza, which was good, but I'm not a huge fan of clam pizza to start with.
          The place was not crowded mid-afternoon. Service was very accomodating. Beers could have been a tad colder.
          However, I don't think that Philly has nailed the pizza thing yet and I was thrilled to see a pizza arrive that didn't leave me wanting to hop on the Bolt bus. I'll definitely be back... and next time I'll try the house-made ricotta gelato.

          1. Went for lunch last Sunday -- party of 6, no wait at 2PM. The pizzas were mixed -- the truffle one with egg was by far the best. The sausage one was billed as spicy but was totally NOT spicy and very wet in the center. The crusts are nicely burned in the oven, but the dough lacks the tangy flavor of Peppe's in New Haven. Service was great. Beers could have been colder (I saw someone else noted that, too) and served in cold (vs. straight out of the dishwasher) glasses... Overall, I'd say the place has serious promise, but it could go either way...