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Sunday lunch at Stella?

AmblerGirl Jan 21, 2010 03:36 AM

We're heading over to Stella for lunch this Sunday and I've seen mixed reviews. So, what is it like? What is the best pizza to order? We are seeing friends that we really want to talk to so are hoping that the service is not too rushed or it is too loud. Also we are bring two babies along, is it kid friendly? Do you think there will be a long wait on a Sunday? Do they take reservations?

So many questions....

If all else fails, any suggestions for a good "Plan B" restaurant in walking distance?

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    Hungryin theBurbs RE: AmblerGirl Jan 21, 2010 04:00 AM

    I haven't been, but know lots of people who have. Some love it some hate it. I suspect you won't know which camp you fall in until you try it. Some friends went with kids (6 year olds) and, while the environment was fine for kids, they said service was really slow which was a problem for impatient, hungry kids. It probably won't be an issue for babies, though. Report back. I'm still hoping to go one of these days.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hungryin theBurbs
      bluehensfan RE: Hungryin theBurbs Jan 21, 2010 04:55 AM

      We found stella to be so-so. The octopus and calamari appetizer was meh. I liked the calamari and the octopus itself as well as the small chunks of potatoes that were in the salad, but the small olives and the overly tart oil seemed to overpower the main ingredients. The margherita pizza was decent but the crust seemed a bit rubbery to me. The tartufo was kind of messy and not what I expected with an egg on the top that the server breaks and smears over the top of the pizza, resulting in an oily-eggy taste. Personally, I really enjoy the truffled egg toast at Tria so I was surprised how much I disliked this soggy, slimy, pie. The gelato for desssert was fair, but nowhere near Capogiro for comparison sake. The biscotti that was served with it was very good. The service was excellent and very attentive. I think the service was much better than the food to be honest with you. It is very kid friendly, as we went for lunch and lots of kids and strollers were there. I don't think they take reservations. One thing, is that we found it pricey in that for the two of us, with two pizzas, two appetizers, two sodas and a gelato came in at close to $70 after the tip.

      Perhaps "Plan B" may be Pietro's a few blocks away. For us, I think it will be "Plan A" if we are in the area and looking for decent pizza.

    2. b
      barryg RE: AmblerGirl Jan 21, 2010 05:43 AM

      Overpriced and mediocre IMO but many like it. I thought the tartufo (egg yolk and truffle) was great, because of the flavor not the fact that it was on a pizza. I also really liked the sausage and lentil appetizer. They do not take reservations.

      Didn't have noise issues where I sat, but it was towards the back so it may be different if you are in the main area.

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        nwinkler RE: AmblerGirl Jan 21, 2010 01:32 PM

        I think Stella succeeds fairly well at what it's trying to do. It's very noisy and crowded inside and very well could have a slight wait on a Sunday, but I think it will work fine with a baby--I saw lots of families there. All the pizzas, salads and antipasti I've tried have satisfied, but I've most like the tartufo and marinara pizzas. And I thought the olive oil gelato was fun. It definitely isn't cheap, though.

        One idea for a Plan B is the newly opened Zavino at 13th and South. Judging by the photos of the pizzas alone, this place looks like the real deal, and their prices are gentler than Stella's.

        1. AmblerGirl RE: AmblerGirl Jan 26, 2010 03:39 AM

          Happily reporting back! We went to Stella on Sunday, 6 adults, 2 babies. We arrived at 12:30 and there was no wait at all. Atmosphere was perfect for kids, there were alot of babies there. Service was great, our waitress was friendly and helpful.

          Appetizers were amazing. We got the house made ricotta, carmelized onions (yum!), and calamari/octopus dish. All spectacular.

          The pizza was good, not great, but good. We got the margharita, sausage, finnichio (with olives and meat) and san daniella (with smoked cheese and arugula, my personal favorite). The toppings were fabulous but the crust was so-so. The outer crust was great, nice and crisp, but the inner part of the crust (under the toppings) was kind of flabby. And the dough was flavorless. Normally I would not care, it was all good, but at those prices I'm expecting something spectacular. For 6 adults eating pizza and drinking wine and beer the bill came to over $300 with tip. For pizza and beer, that is alot of money. I had a great time, have no real complaints, but am not sure I'd go back for that kind of money.

          3 Replies
          1. re: AmblerGirl
            bluehensfan RE: AmblerGirl Jan 26, 2010 03:59 AM

            Thanks for posting this. I could not come up with the word "flabby" when I described the pizza, but that really accurately describes the middle of the crust. It's kind of a weird rubbery sensation in your mouth that's a bit odd, particularly since I was expecting something like Lombardi's used to serve up when they were still in town (at a fraction of the price). I do agree that Stella is decent as far as the whole experience goes, but at those astronoical prices, it seems like it's not worth the price of admission.

            1. re: AmblerGirl
              k
              keby RE: AmblerGirl Jan 26, 2010 05:37 AM

              WOW!! $50 per adult for beer & pizza. Unless you got smashed/drunk or had pizza with black truffles and caviar!!!! HELLLSS NO! Ridiculous

              1. re: keby
                bluehensfan RE: keby Jan 26, 2010 10:39 AM

                That's why there are so many kids there...if it was filled with adults, Starr would have even more of a gold mine with all of the liquor he could sell on top of the overpriced food!

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