Happy first day of winter Raleighites! Cheers to being freezing and burrowing. I definitely enjoy this time of year, where I can walk from my apartment to any given locating without sweating profusely. Cheers to that.
// Pizza La Stella //
Last night I got the chance to try out this new spot in DTR. We’ve all been excited to see what would fill up the old Bolt space. Rest easy my friends, we’re gonna be just fine. I’ll start this post by saying that I thought Bolt was fine, but the food was overpriced and mediocre. On to same sized and better things (can’t really say bigger and better when it’s in the same space…).
I poked around the digs with the owners, Rudy and Bernadette. Can I just say how awesome it is to see people so excited about a concept. Rudy is basically living out his dream with this restaurant (interestingly, by providing pizza until the early morning hours, he is also living out my dream). Well done, Rudy.
As far as decor goes, everything has been updated from the Bolt days. Think wood, rustic, and cozy, with a touch of modern.
The basic concept of this restaurant is to take people back to fresh and authentic Neapolitan-style pizza. Just simple and delicious. Everything on the menu (wings, pizza, calzones, etc.) are cooked to perfection in a wood-fired oven.
A pizza takes around 90 seconds to cook. Yea, I guess 1,000 degrees is pretty hot. On to the food!
We kicked off the evening with some Trophy brews and wings. PLS will feature a new brewery every month. Because it rocks, Trophy is taking the reigns on the first 60 days. (Side note: Raleigh is the best you guys. As we all know, Trophy also makes pizza, but here we have a sweet collaboration between competitors. Not to mention, I saw one of the owners of Trophy dining at PLS last night. THIS CITY IS THE BEST. End side note.)
Let’s talk about wings y’all. The wings are marinated and wood-fired. I ordered the Old-Fashioned wings, which have that sweet and smokey flavor you get with the drink. It was topped with some citrus in the form of a wood-fired orange. Dying. The meat fell right off the bone and the flavor wasn’t too overwhelming.
Now the main event… p-i-z-z-a (follow this link for reference). I’m not going to lie, I was thinking in this big ole brain of mine, how good can the pizza be? The answer is unbelievably good. Like how in the world is this even possible good. The hubs took one bite and immediately followed it with a, “Yea, we’re coming back here. You know we’re going to start craving this pizza right?” You know it’s good when your patron is actually concerned about how much they’ll be coming back.
We had the Bolognese, but there are plenty of other adventurous options. We wanted something basic, with meat (duh). The pizza was cooked to perfection. The cheese was hot and melty, with all the richness and freshness you should get with Italian cheeses. The sauce was just simple and delicious. Flavorful and garlicky, but not overwhelming or overly sweet. I mean nomsssss y’all. I will also say that we ate basically the entire 14″ pizza, but didn’t feel like garbage afterwards. I made it the five blocks back to our apartment without even thinking once about ponying up for a rickshaw (a genuine improvement in stamina for me).
We topped off the evening with the dessert pizza, The Nutty Italian. It was basically a giant smore. I mean…..
Noms to this whole place you guys. I can’t end this post without mentioning The Loft, a steampunk themed speakeasy with an Italian twist. You’ll find this gem in the upstairs part of the restaurant. Complete with cocktail bar, Alice in Wonderland like decor, and a general feeling of homeyness/whimsy. Trust me, it works. Grab a cocktail and enjoy.
Pizza La Stella is doing Live Training right now, which means they’re serving up a limited menu for the next two nights. They should be open in full swing this Friday!