January 10, 2010
When it comes to Stephen Starr it seems everyone in Philly either loves him, or hates him. Personally, I’ve come to like him.
I love the imagination behind each restaurant. From old-school diner style to a french bistro to some sort of brady bunch living room inspired lounge, each one is unique and intruiging. They remind me of myself if I owned a restaurant empire (although, I must admit that sometimes I wish he would go even a little more overboard and see that every detail is unique and completely thought out – but hey I’m just crazy like that).
Pizzeria Stella is a definite Starr creation.
The name itself is charming. “Stella” is the italian word for “Star”. Very cute.
The moment I stepped in the door I could have easily closed my eyes and assumed I was in Lorenzo’s or Renzi’s. It certainly smells like a pizza joint.
From there the interior certainly is unique, although me and Frank both commented on its resemblance to Co. where we had dinner this past summer during our excursion to NYC. It’s walls mainly covered with a mixture of wood panneling and modern takes on the traditional pizzeria red and white tiling. The wall of firewood is quirky and I loved the far right wall covered in systematically colored photos of the leaning tower of Pisa.
I’ve been trying to stick to my only new years resolution I’ve ever made by doing my best to stay away from dairy as not to make my stomach angry. That said, I went with the Marinera Pizza, while Frank got the Pepperoni. Even with a packed restaurant, it didn’t take long at all to get the food at all.
I think we’re a good pair to fairly judge a place like this. If anyone is a “pizza connoisseur” I think it would be Frank. He would have no problem with having pizza for every meal for the rest of his life. Most pizza places in south jersey actually recognize him. As for me…I’m typically not a fan. I can take it or leave it – and since most pizza is drenched in cheese, I mostly leave it.
We both loved it. I actually told him that I could totally eat pizza everyday too if I lived next door to Stella. The sauce is sweet with plenty of garlic and oregano (and what’s better than that combination anyway?) and the pizza is super thin with slightly crunchy crust. Frank even had me try one of his pepperoni’s, even knowing I am not found of them, and I must say that they were pretty tasty as well.
In all, we absolutely enjoyed it. I know I’ve seen a few bad reviews of it on yelp and such, a lot of people complaining about prices and such but honestly, we didn’t feel like it was bad price wise at all. I mean, it’s definitely more than getting pizza from the place down the street, but it’s much more than the place fown the street. We will definitely be re-visiting, so I’ll be sure to post any updates and let you know if I change my oppinion changes.
But for now, I will let it’s deliciousness and charm lend itself to my memory for the time being.