Stone Hearth Pizza: creative Neopolitan-style pizza
Growing up in New York City, I was fortunate to be exposed to good pizza and it is something I take very seriously. One restaurant in the Boston area has taken the pursuit of good pizza and combined it with another of my passions, supporting local farms, in a wonderful way. Stone Hearth Pizza, with locations in Belmont, Cambridge and Needham, and a fourth location opening soon in Allston, first opened in August 2005. The company prides itself on making creative Neopolitan-style pizzas made with as many locally-and sustainably-produced ingredients as possible. Varieties include Housemade Sausage & Caramelized Onion with mozzarella and charred red and yellow peppers; Bacon & Blue with garlic oil, julienned zucchini, mozzarella, smoked bacon, blue cheese, and cherry tomatoes; and my personal favorite, Farm Fresh with garlic oil, cherry tomatoes, charred red andyellow peppers, Yukon gold potatoes, artichoke hearts, green olives, fresh mozzarella, and topped with a salad of arugula, red onion and prosciutto.
Stone Hearth’s chef Michael Ehledfeldt hails from Hammersley’s Bistro, and his pizzas at Stone Hearth reflect his fine dining background. In addition to pizzas, the menu offerings include seasonally-inspired soups and salads, panini, and pastas. Every month brings new specials that showcase the best produce of the moment. September’s included a luscious corn soup and a caprese salad that took advantage of bright, succulent tomatoes that are always gone too soon. Michael sources much of the local produce himself, visiting farms in the morning and bringing back produce that will be on plates at dinner that evening.
Stone Hearth has some exciting programming lined up for Link Net. Chef Michael will be doing a chicken butchering demo entitled “The Brokedown Chicken.” He will present two recipes, one utilizing the more commonly used parts and one that features parts many of us have never cooked with before. October’s specials will include a chicken pizza, also called The Brokedown Chicken. Using the whole chicken, of course, means generating less waste. It all ties into the restaurant’s commitment to sustainability. Stone Hearth strives to provide diners with delicious and memorable food, all while making choices that promote environmental health and that support the local economy.
Stop by Stone Hearth’s booth at the Local Food Festival to sample some dishes, see the demo, and learn more about the local farms and producers they purchase from. And if you live near Allston, keep an eye out for Stone Hearth’s fourth location, which will open at the corner of North Harvard Street and Western Avenue later this fall.