Thumbs up for Stone Hearth Pizza
We stopped in at the Belmont store today to finally check out their pizza.
As vegetarians and healthy-biased eaters, we were looking forward to trying their pizza. We got a table right away (6pm) and were greeted promptly by our server. Service was friendly and efficient. We split a large multigrained crust pizza. One half was garlic olive oil based/goat and fontina cheeses/caramelized onions/green olives. The other half we went with their tomato sauce/mozz/provolone/red onion/black olives. The pizza was thin and crisp, with some nice bubbling and char in the crust. Toppings were great and the pizza had a fresh, light taste...not greasy. We also split a salad which was fine. All in all, a good experience and quality food. We like their business model using fresh, local and organic products, and making most things fresh, in house (sausage as well, although I can't speak to how good it is). We don't eat pizza that often, but this is a place we'll actually support!
I'm a Stone Hearth fan. I think the pizza's delicious. They have a pizza with a white bean spread, which I got a kick out of: back when I was in college, I always used to make my own pizzas and make them really weird, doing things like using bean spreads instead of cheese and so forth.
I have been a vocal CH fan of StH Belmont for many yrs and it continues to confound me that I've been driving the bus with only 1 or 2 CH passengers, when I would have thought the bus would be full.
The chef behind StH is Michael Ehlenfeldt (sp.) who was Gordon Hammersley's right hand man for some 15 or so yrs., followed by a stint at Burdick's up in Walpole NH. He is SERIOUS about the food, its quality, flavor, and local sourcing. He's also behind their pizzas going into Whole Foods last yr.
Many devotees of Regina's North End - stress that one must order the pizza well done; and at StH, we always order a whole wheat crust and very well done. I think they have the best choice of and quality of toppings of any pizza place in Boston that i have seen. Their house-made Italian sausage is unique and outstanding- spicy(as in both spice and hot) and with some cumin. Their red and yellow peppers are house roasted. They offer a number of cheeses, incl. fontina and chevre. And they have many veggie options and a very good (friends tell me) gluten free crust.
Our favs are the Sausage and caramelized onion; and the Marguerita w/ 4 Cheeses (to which we add Artichoke Hearts and Pepperoni.) We love it that the White Bean (we add tomato sauce, chevre and bacon)is topped w/ a generous Spinach salad tossed w/ house-made pesto.Their beet and arugula salad w/ shaved Parm has turned My Love into an arugula lover.
I was astounded to read you were seated promptly at 6 on a Sat. night; we tried that timing on our last visit and swore we'd never do that again. CRAAAAZY busy. We usually go late afternoon wkdays, and it's nice and peaceful. This location is always 75% families and lots of kids.
Their waitstaff is usually very good, but fyi, there is one long-time older waitress who, as nice as she is, can be major ditzy. So glad you liked it. We're due for a fix very soon!
OC, I'm with you as a general fan of Stone Hearth, but I guess I'm not on the bus either. It's good, I like it, just had some last week, but I just don't think it is "pounding the table at Chowhound" good. This opinion is affected by the so-so pastas. I do like the sausage and onion 'za, though. And will definitely try the white bean.
My husband and I used a Google offer last night that was due to expire soon. It was his turn to choose, so I reluctantly agreed to go with the Buffalo chicken pizza (we don't censor one another on our turns to order). It was actually quite good...lots of blue cheese, chicken wasn't too dried out, and not lacking in salt thanks to the toppings. I really like their pizza. We got a white bean as takeout for my veggie son. It's his favorite pizza. Unfortunately I forgot to ask for the whole wheat, but it was still very good.
The only pasta I've had has been the spinach and chicken dish. Totally agree that some salt would transform the dish. I haven't bothered to order pasta again, but that's okay with all of the pizza choices. With reasonable wine prices, it's a nice option for a casual meal out.
We've only been to the Belmont location. I'd like to check out the atmosphere at the Allston place soon.