Three Bells For Stella

Craig LaBan is a big fan of the pizzas coming out of the 800 degree oven at Pizzeria Stella.

Pizzaiolos must first be judged by their feel for pizza’s purest expressions – the simple reds – and it’s a measure by which Stella rises high. The margherita blends the brightness of raw San Marzano tomato sauce, milky sweet clouds of buffalo mozzarella, Sicilian sea salt, and plumes of basil, as good as any in town (OK . . . just shy of Osteria’s). My favorite, though, was a marinara that took me right back to the venerable Da Michele in Naples. It’s a cheeseless tomato round, but deceptively plain: The cooked sauce intensifies even further beneath a streak of olive oil that, in this oven’s supernova heat, adds a caramelizing effect, singeing the oregano leaves until they add an herbal pop, coaxing warm ambrosia from clove-sized fans of shaved garlic.

Three Bells – Excellent

Pizzeria Stella [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Pizzeria Stella [Official Site]