Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Pizza Oven And Pistachio Pie At Pizzeria Stella Inspired By Famed Phoenix Pizzeria Bianco

pizzeria bianco rosaRick Nichols has a good piece on Pizzeria Stella, Stephen Starr's brand new pizza restaurant in Society Hill.

Among the details revealed: both the pizza oven (a Renato from Texas) and the pistachio pie (the pie that Starr-folk are trumpeting the most) are ideas borrowed from Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco, the famous and extremely popular pizzeria in Phoenix, AZ.

Nichols also extols how Stella did a respectable job of picking bits and pieces from different pizzerias Team Starr visited and combined them into something new here:
The Starr organization wasn't exactly reinventing pizza here. In fact, it was borrowing and, in the case of the estimable pistachio pie (with slivered sweet red onion and fontina), flat-out lifting, some road-tested pizza tricks of the trade.
Other echoes from the June pizzaland junket were in evidence. The subway-tiled kitchen recalled Pepe's, the New Haven shrine to the fresh-shucked-clam pie. (There's a clam pie here, too, the Vongole, though at Stella the fresh clams are oven-roasted to pop them open, then chopped with guanciale, the salty hog jowl.)

Watching the hand-grating of the Parmesan on individual pies, you might have been at Lucali's, the tour favorite on Henry Street in Brooklyn. Sitting at Stella's marble counter felt a lot like sitting at Franny's, the hip Park Slope pizzeria.
Meanwhile last week, Starr revealed to Philly Mag that the oven cost $20,000 and that he had to spy on one pizzeria's delivery to find out what kind of tomatoes they used for their sauce. Sounds like Lucali's.

Twinkle, sprinkle, rising pizzas - At Stephen Starr's new Pizzeria Stella, they're setting the pie bar high, from the crust on up [ Philadelphia Inquirer ]
Stuffing My Face at Pizzeria Bianco [ Slice - Serious Eats ]
Stephen Starr's Stella Secrets [ Philadelphia Magazine ]

Stephen Starr Courts Team Lucali, Is Rebuffed

[ Photo via The Washington Post ]

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