Sunday, June 5, 2011

Pizzeria Stella | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

When I asked Melissa Chang (@Melissa808) for recommendations about where to eat in Philadelphia, her response was, "Anything, and I mean anything!! by Stephen Starr is going to be good." That's a pretty heavy endorsement from one of Honolulu's top foodies, so my brother suggested Pizzeria Stella in downtown for our Memorial Day dinner.

Pizzeria Stella
420 South 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 320-8000
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Melissa was right. Stephen Starr's restaurants are gold. This was probably the best pizza I've ever had (though V Lounge back home is a close second).

This is the asparagus appetizer, served with a sunny-side-up egg and parmesan vinaigrette. The asparagus was done perfectly.

We also ordered some broccoli rabe. While good, I felt it was the least memorable dish.

The chopped salad had some ridiculous number of different veggies in it. Each bite was a unique blend of flavors and textures. This is definitely worth ordering again.

But who goes to a pizza parlor for salad and appetizers, right? This is the "Marinara," done simply with san marzano tomato, oregano, garlic. All of the pizzas are wood-fired so you get that nice crispy outside and warm, chewy inside.

Here's a close-up of the "Marinara." If you're lactose intolerant, this is a good option because it comes sans cheese.

The "Pepperoni" has abbruzze pepperoni with oregano, mozzarella, tomato.

This was slightly spicier than your average pepperoni pizza and balanced nicely with the "Pistachio."

Yes, you read that correctly. Pistachio. As in the nut. This was an interesting blend of red onion, pistachio, fontina and extra virgin olive oil.

It was on the sweeter side, which is why it went well with the pepperoni. I suppose some red pepper flakes would do the trick, too.

To round out our order, we included the "Mushroom," which had rosemary ham, smoked mozzarella and garlic crema.

Like the others, this was an amazing combination of flavors that exploded in your mouth. The saltiness of the ham brought out the natural sweetness of the mushroom.

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