First Look: Stargazy
Though this past weekend was perhaps the first time in a long while that Autumn fare has had true appeal, Stargazy—Sam Jacobson’s new, traditional British pie shop–has been selling out daily since it first opened two weeks ago.
Jacobson has helmed the kitchens at Southwark, Sycamore, and, most recently, at Leila’s Bistro in Jenkintown, but Stargazy is his first solo endeavor. Located in the former home of Ms. Goody Cupcake on East Passyunk Avenue, the cozy space houses a walk-up counter and a handful of tables, plus a flat-screen TV because, according to Jacobson, the primary purpose of a pie shop is as a place to watch the game (Tottenham Hotspur, if you please), with the pies themselves coming in second.
Every day you’ll find Jacobson’s traditional pies–all-butter pastry encasing ground beef and onion with red wine gravy–as well as two daily specials, one of which is always vegetarian. This week there’s been oxtail with cheddar, roasted summer vegetables with spicy goat cheese, and curried lamb and zucchini. Though the main pies are served warm, there’s also a case holding trays of sausage rolls, Cornish pasties, Sussex churdles (pretty crimped pies with a lard crust filled with lamb’s liver, bacon, sage, apple, and onion), and loaves of sourdough bread made from Jacobson’s starter, named Fred. Order pies to go, or sit and have them served in a wide bowl with parsley sauce.
Though the focus at Stargazy is resolutely savory, you won’t suffer if what you need an afternoon sweet. Help yourself to a mug from the wooden shelf and fix yourself a complimentary cup of tea, ask about the fruit pie of the day, or have a plate of sticky toffee pudding with cream or a banoffee (banana+caramel) tart.
Stargazy is open daily from 11:00am until the pies sell out, which has been happening rather quickly lately. And keep in mind that the shop is cash only (at least for the time being, until Jacobson gets around to setting up a credit card machine) so, you know, bring your wallet.