When someone asks me what my favorite restaurant is, I usually go blank and I have a hard time pinpointing just one since I love so many. But I have good news – I think I found my favorite restaurant (at least for this season). I wrote a brunch review for Pizza La Stella a couple months back and I fell head over heels for the flavor profiles that were thrown together perfectly, the friendly service and the cozy atmosphere. I knew immediately that I wanted to share the main menu with our readers in hopes of encouraging them to try out this newer Neapolitan style pizza restaurant.
My husband and I went out to downtown Raleigh for a date night and we could not have been more excited to go to Pizza La Stella. We went on a Monday because we were not going to miss out on the BOGO deal on all their pizzas (including specialty!). No brainer. From when we enjoyed brunch there, we knew we wanted to start our meal with a cocktail because they are so good. We ordered the Mulekick ($10) which is similar to a Moscow mule (my favorite drink) but so much better. They use Ketel One vodka, Calabrian simple syrup, lime and ginger beer. It starts with the sweetness of the simple syrup which is not too sweet, then you can taste the tanginess from the lime and then the ginger beer which was medium spicy. We loved it!
When we went to brunch there, we absolutely LOVED their chicken wings. They were so different than we had ever had. You can taste all the flavor profiles; they were incredibly juicy and not heavily fried. We had to order wings again so we ordered The Old-Fashioned ($14). The marinade for the wings was apple cider bourbon, cinnamon and charred orange. They were so heavenly. The wings were charred, with a subtle sweetness. The sweet and savory mix lingers together during the whole bite and there is no sauce required for these extremely satisfying wings. My husband and I could not get over how juicy they were and we asked the manager how they make them like that. He let us know that they marinade their wings for 12 hours…of course they would be amazing.
For dinner we ordered two pizzas, one white and one red and also ordered a Stromboli to try. The red sauce pizza we ordered was the Carnoso ($19), which was topped with mozzarella, soppressata (dry salami), Italian sausage, pancetta and garlic confit. I am a huge fan of white pizzas so we ordered the Bianca ($15), which was fontina and mozzarella blend, parmigiana reggiano and basil. I loved the white pizza so much. I never was a huge fan of Neapolitan style pizza because I felt like the crust part was way too thin for my taste. What I love about Pizza La Stella is that the main inside crust is thinner but the outside crust is nice and thick like a normal pizza. The white pizza was great. They did not overdo it with too much cheese and the basil was so fresh. My husband really enjoyed the Carnoso. He loved that they didn’t skimp out on the meat and it was in every bite. The garlic confit was amazing on it because it brought a sweetness that balanced out the saltier meats.
Let’s get to the main show, shall we? I think anytime I come here again, I will need to order the La Stella ‘House’ Stromboli ($16). I could not put into words how much I loved eating this. A Stromboli is like an Italian sandwich. The dough is rolled around Italian meats and cheese and sometimes there will be sauce already in it or on the side. The Stromboli had the perfect pizza dough crust. It was slightly crisp on the outside but so soft on the inside. It was brushed with olive oil and garlic and then topped with parmesan. The meat and cheese did not over power one another. The Stromboli was filled with fontina-mozzarella blend, soppresata, Calabrian peppers, roasted red peppers, black olives and basil. Then they had the marinara sauce on the side (which I prefer). I mean, this combination is absurd and I knew I had to order it. It made my night and I have leftovers in the fridge that my husband is not allowed to touch.
We ended the night with a cannoli. I love cannolis, and Pizza La Stella has a really good one. I am pretty sure I can eat a bowl of the cream filling. It was the perfect treat to end the night. If you have not tried, Pizza La Stella, I strongly encourage you to check it out. I think you would leave very happy and your stomach would leave even happier!
Kristel works for an awesome marketing firm in Chapel Hill and studied at Liberty University where she received her Bachelor’s in Business Communications. She is passionate about eating real food and creating homemade meals that she can serve around the table for friends and family. Things that bring her much enjoyment are: being outside, eating at local restaurants, popcorn and watching TV shows with her hubby. On Saturday morning, you can catch her strolling through a farmers market with a latte in hand. Follow her on Instagram @kristel_kazda and check out her blog at athistableblog.com.