Pizzeria Stella endures as an early entry in Philly's pizza renaissance
When taste-maker Stephen Starr's Pizzeria Stella opened in 2009, it was at the top of its game. And while a recent rise in boutique pizzerias is giving Starr a run for his money, he can rest easy knowing his Headhouse locale was first out of the gate.
The oven at Stella is an Italian design from Renato Ovens, out of Dallas, Texas. It's made of concrete and heat-resistant tiles. It's a wood-fire oven with a gas assist, which automatically kicks off at 650 degrees, said Randi Sirkin, Starr's spokeswoman.
So what makes this place unique?
Sirkin said it's "the skilled chefs" of the Stella crew that operate the ovens. They can cook up a pie in about 90 seconds when the oven is running at their ideal temperature of 700 to 750 degrees, all the while burning white oak.
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Headhouse Square: Pizzeria Stella, 420 S. 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106