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Stella Barra Pizzeria

Stella Barra Pizzeria
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  • Stella Barra Pizzeria

    Post #1 - December 29th, 2013, 11:54 am
    Post #1 - December 29th, 2013, 11:54 am Post #1 - December 29th, 2013, 11:54 am
    Decided to use a Lettuce Entertain You Christmas gift card and my wife was in a pizza mood.

    There is not a direct entrance to Stella Barra from the street. You arrive at Summer House and enter Stella Barra through a door inside the foyer. Summer House looked like a 70’s/80’s Division Street fern bar. The vibe was cozier in Stella Barra.

    Started with a nice salad of heirloom spinach, purple kale, medjool dates, shaved pecorino, with a mustard vinaigrette.

    There are five red pizzas and five white pizzas. We really wanted a red and white, but none of the reds worked for us. One has no cheese, a Margherita (wanted something more creative), and my wife didn’t want the plain pepperoni or sausage. I thought the guanciale and roasted onion would be perfect, but we don’t care for smoked cheese.

    The waiter felt the two best pizza’s were the butternut squash (taleggio cheese, candied bacon, fresno chilies, oregano, and parmesan) and the prosciutto and sunny-side up farm egg (fresh mozzarella, gruyere, and pecorino). We ordered the squash on the Roman-style ‘Thin Sin’ dough and the prosciutto on the regular dough.

    We really liked the dough. I preferred the thin, since I am a sucker for thin cracker style crust. The regular dough is lighter around the edges and not as soggy in the center as most Neapolitan style pizzas, which I appreciated. My wife declared the dough better than one of our favorite pizzas, Stop 50. Without having them side-by-side, I felt Stop 50’s dough had more flavor, but did prefer the execution of final product (lighter and less soggy centers).

    We both really enjoyed the excellent squash pizza, the prosciutto was good, but seemed to lack something and may have benefitted from the prosciutto being a bit crisper. A 2001 Pertimali (Livio Sassetti) Brunello di Montalcino (mine, with a corkage fee) was a nice pairing.


    Stella Barra Pizzeria
    1954 N Halsted St
    Chicago, IL 60614
    772.634.4101
    http://www.stellabarra.com
  • Post #2 - December 29th, 2013, 1:36 pm
    Post #2 - December 29th, 2013, 1:36 pm Post #2 - December 29th, 2013, 1:36 pm
    Just enjoyed a few left over slices from both pies reheated in a dry cast iron skillet. The prosciutto pizza was more flavorful today.
  • Post #3 - December 30th, 2013, 9:59 am
    Post #3 - December 30th, 2013, 9:59 am Post #3 - December 30th, 2013, 9:59 am
    Heading there tomorrow, thanks for the review!
    Cookingblahg.blogspot.com
  • Post #4 - December 30th, 2013, 10:39 am
    Post #4 - December 30th, 2013, 10:39 am Post #4 - December 30th, 2013, 10:39 am
    I've had three solid experiences at Stella Barra (which happens to be right around the corner from my place). The appetizers & sides aren't exceptional, but I (and others I've been with) have enjoyed all the pizzas. I'd particularly recommend the sausage & prosciutto/egg. Only disappointment was the mushroom, which was well flavored but over-the-top salty both times I tried it. My basic recommendation would be to focus on pizza, which is certainly the star of the show. Great the next day as well!
  • Post #5 - December 30th, 2013, 4:21 pm
    Post #5 - December 30th, 2013, 4:21 pm Post #5 - December 30th, 2013, 4:21 pm
    Possumlad wrote:My basic recommendation would be to focus on pizza

    I've eaten at the 2 Stella Barra a dozen+ times (will probably be doing so in my boxers, again, on NYD), and always felt like they also have good salads. The cocktails, OTOH, really need massive massaging. I don't know if CHI gets it, but the bloomsdale spinach pie is really tremendous. if CHI has the bakery, it does does great cookies / rice crispies. finally, IF CHI gets it, the salted caramel "budino" slash panna cotta is... IMO, better than Nancy Silverton's.

    As much as we mock LEYE from the left coast, Mahin+team makes one of my current favorite pizzas (in LA).
    Last edited by TonyC on January 3rd, 2014, 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #6 - January 3rd, 2014, 10:14 am
    Post #6 - January 3rd, 2014, 10:14 am Post #6 - January 3rd, 2014, 10:14 am
    We went to Stella Barra on New Years eve and enjoyed the meal. To start with we had the bread and house churned butter which also came with an herb and roasted garlic dipping oil. The bread was extremely fresh and had a distinct honey flavor, the house churned butter was also excellent. We then shared the marinated olives and simple green salad. For pizza we ordered the Hobbs pepperoni on the regular crust and the fennel bianco on the thin sin crust. Both were very good, the regular crust had the same distinct honey flavor as the bread so I am guessing they use the same dough. Toppings are fairly sparse so I doubt one pizza would have been enough to feed two adults. Dessert was an apple crumble served in a jar. All and all a good experience, but a little on the pricey side for pizza.
    Cookingblahg.blogspot.com
  • Post #7 - January 3rd, 2014, 10:50 am
    Post #7 - January 3rd, 2014, 10:50 am Post #7 - January 3rd, 2014, 10:50 am
    I wonder what they're doing with all that fresh buttermilk left over from the house churned butter. :?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:52 pm
    Post #8 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:52 pm Post #8 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:52 pm
    I imagine the buttermilk could be great in a pizza crust or house-made bread.
  • Post #9 - November 14th, 2014, 10:29 am
    Post #9 - November 14th, 2014, 10:29 am Post #9 - November 14th, 2014, 10:29 am
    Wasn't impressed. Crust was crispy but tasted like bland breakfast cereal. I'm not a fan of cooked prosciutto on a pizza, either. Service was, for the most part, friendly but bumbling throughout. Learned about some daily specials on our way out the door. A couple items we ordered were screwed up but ultimately comped. Old Fashioned, which included Redemtion Rye, cacao and fernet was an abomination.

    If you want pizza in Lincoln Park, skip Stella and go to Nella.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #10 - November 14th, 2014, 1:25 pm
    Post #10 - November 14th, 2014, 1:25 pm Post #10 - November 14th, 2014, 1:25 pm
    I see I never wrote about it here, but I was actually quite pleased with my pizza at Stella Barra and the crust was a big part of that. Not sure if you just had an off experience or if something has changed (my visit was at least a few months ago), but I'd definitely return.
  • Post #11 - November 14th, 2014, 1:45 pm
    Post #11 - November 14th, 2014, 1:45 pm Post #11 - November 14th, 2014, 1:45 pm
    I shared Ronnie's meal, and I have to agree with him. We had three different pizza's and, even though the crust on all of them was texturally excellent, they tasted like Styrofoam. There was absolutely no taste to the crust at all. Not a hint of yeast, oil, salt or anything else. Also, service was so slipshod it was a joke. On a positive note, although our bread with house churned butter never materialized, the house made burrata was great.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #12 - February 6th, 2020, 9:34 am
    Post #12 - February 6th, 2020, 9:34 am Post #12 - February 6th, 2020, 9:34 am
    Stella Barra has become Stella Barra Pizzeria & Wine Bar after adding new antipasti dishes, pastas and tavern-style pizzas, and tripling its wine list to focus on Italian varieties.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/c ... story.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard

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