Welcome to Burt's Food Blog

Hello I'm Burt Fleisher, a Chicago area restaurant lover who travels the USA extensively, and is always seeking out interesting and unique food wherever I may be. This Blog has become my photo-journal, chronicling most of my restaurant and dining experiences with a bit of humor added in to keep it light.

I want to thank you for stopping by and reading, I hope you enjoy my musings and that you'll subscribe to Burt's Food Blog or Like Me on Facebook.

Eat well and take care!

-Burt

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pizza from a Star Chef

I have a good friend in Philly that said that he wanted me to validate one of his favorite pizza places that's around the corner from where he lives. So this week we paid a visit to Philadelphia celebrity chef Steven Stars Pizzeria Stella.

As we walked up,  I knew right off the bat that this place would be pretty decent, but wouldn’t be a top contender in my book because it’s too chic and trendy looking. My theory is that great pizza never happens at these kinds of places because they lack character, and pizza if anything, is a character based food. Don’t get me wrong, I like a fine dinning experience just as much as the next food snob does, it’s just that when it comes to my pizza, I need a little bit of grit and graffiti.

Anyway, it’s a very nice space, it seems like every seat is a great window seat, the wait staff is very attractive and attentive, and up front is a gas fired pizza oven that looks like the centerpiece of the restaurant.

We started off with the marinated olives as an appetizer, I LOVED them!  Nice, firm & fresh. Check out the picture, they looked just like candy with vibrant colors and blanched almonds, and they tasted even better.

The pizza is your typical Neapolitan style pie, there were about 10 fixed pizza combination options on the menu, telling what they were willing to make. But since I believe in baselines and consistency, I opted for for my usual sausage & pepperoni, which meant us having to get two one size only 14” pies, which wasn't too much for two hungry guys.

Both pizzas were good, the crust was thin, light and airy with nice air bubbles that the brick oven had nicely charred, but it was quite limp around the the midway point of the pizza slice, and was almost at the soggy end of the spectrum at the center.

The sauce was pleasing but didn’t dominate. I like it when pizza makers leave the pepperoni on top so that it curls up into cups and crisps on the edges, this pizza did exactly that.  The sausage on the other hand, was just loose and crumbly bits of meat, having the consistency of finely ground pork, which essentially makes it hard to even call it real sausage, anyway, I liked that the ground meat was slightly spicy.

The handmade vanilla chocolate chip gelato was nice, but unfortunately mine was served much too warm, so it was soft and melting away, so it had lost some of that potential magic.

Overall, a good experience, nice service and pretty decent pizza, so I guess I’ll give Mr. Star a silver star for the day.

Taste: 7
Experience: 8
Value: 6
Score: 7

Pizzeria Stella
420 S 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Neighborhood: Society Hill
(215) 320-8000
www.pizzeriastella.net/

Pizzeria Stella on Urbanspoon

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