Stella Pizzeria

Stellllllllaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!

Been dying to go to Stella since I heard about it a few years ago.  Stella is Stephen Starr’s version of a Wood Oven Pizza place.  What does that even mean?  For those of you unfamiliar with Stephen Starr’s restaurants… it means a fabulous funky-yet comfortable atmosphere with decor fully committed to the theme (in this case- pizza), a great menu with yummy food and delicious but expensive drinks.  Does that sorta cover it?

Stelllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Several people have recommended Stella to me, calling it their favorite pizza place.  It was really REALLY good!  Two of the people who have been raving to me about Stella all these years is Allie (from All I Eat Food) and Jay (her once very picky eater boyfriend).

Loving our company!

Boyfriend 🙂

Allie and Jay are two of our very close friends and favorite people to go out to eat with.  Jay and Dave give into our foodie/blogger “big eyes” and let us order whatever we want 🙂  It’s always so fun!

We started our night out with some wine and beer.  We ordered the Arancini & Chopped Salad for starters.

Three pizzas was the perfect amount for us piggies to share, so we ordered:

#3 Piccante- capicola, crushed red pepper, aged provolone, tomato

#4 Sausage- wood roasted sausage, long hot pesto, mozzarella, tomato

and the “Bianca”, Jay’s favorite, an off-menu white pizza with some fresh herbs

Arancini, fried rice balls… wow.

Take a peek inside the Arancini!

So many crunchy delicious veggies in the chopped salad

Everything was delicious, especially the pizzas.  We devoured the Arancini and salad within just a couple of minutes and the pizza came soon after, piping hot.  The four of us ate every. single. slice.  I told you… piggies.  Yup.

Okay, now go… enjoy some pizza food porn.

The smell is almost coming through the computer! Yummmm!

The Sausage Pizza… and who thought of “Long Hot Pesto”?! Genius!

Jay’s Bianca Pizza… wowwww

I think this one was my fav! The Piccante. Yum.

We also went to an AWESOME German Bar called Brauhaus Schmitz afterwards for some more beer and fun times.  I wished we were hungry because their food looks great too.  We stuck to some beers recommended by the bartender who seemed to be entertained by our antics.

Allie & Beth with more than one drink = always a fun time.  Hehe!

What a spread!

Bier Vom Vab… duh

One last Stella reference, i SWEAR…

The best Stella of them all!!! My little puppy girl!

Continental, Atlantic City NJ

Sometimes, all you need is a good Date Night!

While my boyfriend Dave and I love being with my entire family at the shore in the summer, sometimes it gets to be a little much!  Dave had spent the week at the shore at Adam’s house, so I hadn’t really seen him much either.  He was so sweet and asked me out on a date night!  

After an hour on Yelp, we couldn’t decide where to go.  We ended up waiting so long that most places had a huge wait.  We ended up picking one of the most dependable restaurants we know:  Continental.

Continental is one of Stephen Starr’s restaurants, and also happens to be the first one ever!  Stephen Starr restaurants are pretty much all fabulous.  Maybe a little overpriced, but you can always count on interesting, fresh, and really really delicious food.  His restaurants are all themed and beautifully decorated too, which makes for a great atmosphere.  He’s got Sushi, Asian, French, British, Steakhouse, Burgers, Italian, Mexican, and a ton more.

“Global Tapas” is the theme for Continental which also has some pretty fabulous cocktails.  One of my favorites is the “Twizzle”:  Smirnoff Citrus, Strawberry Puree, Lemon, and garnished with a red licorice wheel.  It’s adorable.  On this particular night, I decided to change it up and order the “Champagne-O-Rama”: Smirnoff Raspberry and sparkling wine with a grenadine-sugar rimmed glass.  It was REALLY strong, maybe even too strong!

Loved the rim!

Dave and I were actually not that hungry but we ordered some great stuff!

French Onion Soup Dumplings: gruyere cheese

These are awesome!  You have to be careful when you go to eat them though, they are HOT.  We popped the dumplings out of their little holes and let them cool first.  It tastes exactly like french onion soup.

French Onion Soup Dumplings baked in its’ very own crock!

MMMMM!

Jumbo Lump Crab Pad Thai: rice noodles, tofu, egg, scallions and peanuts

While I still think that the best Pad Thai is at Silk Cuisine, my favorite Thai restaurant… Continental’s Pad Thai is pretty high up there on the list.  First of all, it was huge.  The sauce was really good, not too salty, not too sweet.  The entire thing was covered with crab meat.

Pad Thai

Crispy Calamari Salad: chopped greens, carrots, tomatoes, sprouts and soy-sesame dressing

I absolutely positively cannot go to Continental without ordering the Calamari Salad.  It is actually on my own personal “Best Thing I Ever Ate” list… as well as Anne Burrell’s!  She picked this salad as her favorite thing in the “…to eat with Chopsticks” episode.  It is freakin’ amazing.  The calamari is only lightly coated and is perfectly seasoned.  The dressing… wow… it’s a little tangy but very light, and is the perfect compliment to the salty calamari.  WOW.

Check out alllllll the good stuff in this salad. WOW

Although this was all we ordered this time around, I of course have to recommend a few other items for you:

Szechuan Shoestring Fries: drizzled with Chinese mustard sauce

Orange-Chile Glazed Calamari: papaya salsa

Chilean Sea Bass: miso glaze, Chinese broccoli and sweet potato mash

Cheesesteak Eggroll: crispy onions and sriracha ketchup

Amazing Sea Bass.  Also, voted one of the top French Fries in Philly!

Pod on Valentine’s Day

For Valentine’s Day this year, I asked to go to a fun, romantic dinner, just the two of us.  Dave and I decided on POD, a Stephen Starr classic, featuring Dim Sum, Sushi, Pan-Asian dishes, and something I had never heard of:  Robata…but more on that later.

 

There is one thing I have to order EVERY time I go to ANY Stephen Starr restaurant:  Calamari Salad.  This salad happens to have been featured on Best Thing I Ever Ate, and let me tell you, it’s so true

 

Delish Calamari Salad

The Calamari Salad at POD differs from some of the other restaurants because it is served tossed in a Lemongrass Dressing.  It’s very light but flavorful and the spicy/citrus tang of the lemongrass pairs perfectly with the lightly breaded calamari. 

 

Unsure of what else to order besides a sushi roll, I asked our server what he recommended.  He told me about the Robata menu.  Robata, for those of you who don’t know (we didn’t!) is a Japanese grill that reaches up to 1000 degrees, double that of a normal charcoal grill.  The meat or veggies are grilled on skewers, lightly charring the outside but keeping the inside juicy and tender.  He also let me know that POD is the only restaurant in Philly that has a Robata grill.  Ding ding ding!  The alarm immediately went off in my head, we HAD to get this! 

 

We changed our order around (which ended up saving some money too!) and selected the Short Rib Robata served on two skewers with Truffle Miso sauce.  O-M-G.  I would go back to POD any day and order just this dish.  It was perfect, I can’t even find the right words to describe it.  YUM!

 

One of the best beef dishes I've ever eaten!

Dave and I agreed on ordering the Spicy Crunchy Yellowtail Roll, since it was one of the smaller ones.  And- if you know anything about us you will understand why it just wasn’t an option when you hear that there was jalapeno and mango inside!  MMM!  The sushi was very fresh and thankfully didn’t have very much spicy sauce or crunchy on it. 

 

You can even see the fresh mango!

Since we were ordering the Robata AND the sushi roll, we decided to order a side dish and a veggie instead of two entrees, saving us almost $50!  We ordered the Crab Fried Rice (Jasmine Rice and Jumbo Lump Crabmeat) & Wok Roasted Baby Bok Choy served with Garlic Sauce. 

 

Dave almost couldn't wait to dig in!

The rice was amazing.  Crabmeat was mixed throughout and every bite had crab in it.  Using the jasmine rice makes it have a unique taste and it also lightened it up a little. 

 

I was surprised to see the Bok Choy arrive at our table, I couldn’t believe how much was in one $6 serving!  They were so yummy and we were happy this was all the food we ordered, because we were STUFFED!

 

gorgeous color green baby bok choy

Of course not too stuffed to order an unbelievable, creative dessert!  We chose the Fluffernutter Spring Rolls.  Just the name of the dessert is enough to swoon over.  These spring rolls are stuffed with marshmallow fluff and peanut butter, served with a dark chocolate dipping sauce described by our server as “mandatory, not optional”.  These rolls were heavenly as expected, and we were both REALLY stuffed afterwards. 

 

PB&Fluff Spring Rolls

Take a peek inside! MMM!

I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect Valentine’s Day with Dahv!