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Monday, April 16, 2012


Pizzeria Stella 
forks: 9.3
price: $$

420 S. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA

Get ready 4 a rave, because this is certainly that. Tonight, to celebrate Loulou's big 19 we headed to Pizzaria Stella. Its an interesting story but the reason I picked this place was because I had been there before but actually hadn't been able to eat the food, but just pick it up. On this pick up I was literally DYING to eat everything being served around me and promised myself I'd go back and thought tonight was the perfect opportunity. Stella boasts nice outdoor seating, long wooden family style tables, and dim yet not too dim lighting. It's rustic yet refined atmosphere shouts comfort yet quality food.

 The menu offers a selection of antipasti, soups, salads, pastas, and pizzas, and all are described in a delicious yet simple manner, not overwhelmed with adjectives. To start we ordered the chopped salad and the special ravioli. The salad was fresh and flavorful, jam packed with lots of vegetables so every bite had something to offer. My one critique was that it was a little heavy on the tomato vinaigrette, but besides that the fresh radishes, carrots, and garbanzo beans really gave it something special.

The special ravioli was some kind of polenta mixture with edamame and mushrooms. Honestly, no words. It was melt in your mouth INCREDIBLE. We fought over them. They tasted like melting velvet, a silky sauce enveloped them and ugh I'm having anxiety trying to capture them in words because they were truly un-capturable.

It just so happened my brother randomly came to the restaurant too (sibling telepathy) and when I saw that he ordered something we didn't have, well I had to try. It was some kind of fried risotto balls in a marinara sauce and it was incredible. Literally my mouth was singing. Steaming hot, creamy on the inside, and crispy on the outside, beyond tantalizing, so thank GOODNESS he was there.

Okay, so we are very hungree girls and wanted a variety of dishes, so we basically ordered, well, everything. We ordered 5 pizzas..tehe...The first to arrive was the Pancetta Pizza: Italian bacon, wood roasted onion, tuscan kale, and mozzarella. It was delicious. The kale was crispy, the bacon salty, and the onions caramelized and sweet. BUT, very very salty.

Then came the Margherita, your classic tomato, mozzarella, and basil. It was clean  and simple and was made just right.

Next was the Tartufo: black truffle, a sunny-side-up egg, and fontina cheese. Unlike some restaurants in which they skimp on the truffle, there was NO skimping here. The pizza was smothered in them and I was literally in heaven. The egg was broken table side and the yolk was sopped up by the airy and doughy crust for a sickening bite.

Then, (yes still going), there was the Zucchini: oven roasted tomato, thyme, black pepper, ricotta, and zucchini. This one was like a pizza I'd never tasted before. It was clean, not greasy in the slightest, and was incredibly light.

 And then, FINALLY, was the classic Pepperoni. The pepperoni were extremely crispy, in the good way, and were salty, a little spicy, and gave the pizza a great bite.

Loulou enjoying her birthday pizza:

SO, pizza summary: they were awesome. The crust and dough was actually incredible. One common theme was, however, salt overdose on basically all of them. Heavy hand on the salt there Stella.

Aftermath of 5 pizzas:

We also ordered the Lamb Bolognese, because as Andrea says "Lamb is a deal breaker for me. If its on the menu, I get it." Girl likes her lamb. The rigatoni was perfectly al dente and the sauce had a grreeeat flavor and texture, but once again it was pretty salty.

When it came time for dessert, we were actually immobile from eating so much, but needed to put a candle in something, so we ordered a scoop of house made Honey Mascarpone gelato. An interesting combination, it was sweet, tangy, and salty all at the same time. Both the mascarpone and honey flavors were obvious and it was a welcome and interesting combination. This meal was amazing. While it was a little salty, we are all very sweet so it kind of balanced out.


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