Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pizza Party

Date night, now without the fuss


Let’s talk about your next date night: It’s not as easy as saying, “Let’s just grab some pizza.”

Or is it?
Stella Barra is that perfect corner pizzeria with the right amount of dim lighting and stiff drinks coupled with a laid-back vibe that won’t make you feel bad about not calling her the next day.
This California import is entering Jon Stewart's pizza debate by serving theirs Neapolitan style: extra crispy and hot off a wood-burning oven. Choose from red or white with gourmet toppings including housemade pork sausage and shaved mushrooms.

Looking to extend the date? Start with market veggies and crusty breads thrown into the hearth and served alongside fine olive oil, cured meats, and creamy burrata cheese.
A rectangular bar fills the front of the restaurant with Lincoln Park revelers, and keeps the night going with cocktails and draft beers. For her: suggest the Negroni Sbagliato, a wine glass filled to the brim with Cocchi Torino vermouth, Aperol, and prosecco. For you: go for something less pink, preferably the Sicilian Highball (Averna, Cynar, lemon, and ginger beer).

Oh, and bypass the high-tops near the open kitchen for the low leather booths. Surrounded by subway tiles, a chalkboard wall, and exposed brick and metal piping turned into light fixtures, it's a prime date dining room. 

That is, unless you take that pizza to go.

Stella Barra Pizzeria
1954 N. Halsted St. (at W. Armitage Ave.), Lincoln Park
(773) 634-4101

Price: 2 (out of 4)
Noise: 3 (out of 4)
Subway: Brown Line to Armitage
Scene: An eclectic mix of Lincoln Park singles and equally active young families fill the dark space.
Best bets: Rossa pizza; wood-roasted cauliflower; pork ragu bucatini
Nearby: Summer House; Rustic House; Café Ba-Ba-Reeba

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