Stefano’s

In the same shopping center as Five Guy’s and Mi Tierra, we have a third cuisine represented by Stefano’s. We’d been saying we needed to eat there since it opened (it was formerly Cio’s, which was short-lived enough that we never made it inside), and last saturday we finally gave it a try.

We were expecting only pizza, but were surprised to find that their menu is actually quite extensive. Had we tried some of the entrees, we might have a more well-rounded opinion, but what we tried, we really liked. Our waiter was very friendly, even if he didn’t quite understand that you cannot put anything, that’s ANYTHING down on the table within reach of a toddler, or it will go on the floor almost instantly.

We started out with salads, and as far as house salads go, whatever. Nothing special, although their house Italian vinaigrette has a little zip to it, so that was a bit unique. As usual, it would help to order the dressing on the side. Christopher’s salad featured (in a literal sense) icebergs in an ocean of oil and vinegar.

We were both in the mood for some calamari fritti, and although it was light and crispy and not the least bit greasy (perfect!) there just wasn’t enough of it to justify the $9 price. The plate was small, and although neither of us uaually want to be confronted with heaping mounds of fried food before we even get our dinner, we were disappointed that they skimped. Either the price or the serving size should be changed.

For dinner, we ordered a large (and they do mean large) New York style pizza. Perfect crust—just a little crispy on the outside, but chewy on the inside, and thin enough that you can fold the whopping slice in half. We chose cheese with bacon and spinach, and the toppings were generous (maybe to compensate for the appetizer). There was just a right amount of tangy sauce—not so much that the slices were soggy.

When we say “perfect crust,” we will forego all Chicago style/New York style debates, and leave it at that. If New York style floats your boat, we think you will be happy with Stefano’s pizza. Then again, Christopher grew up in Texas, so what does he know about New York pizza?

Based on their menu, there are several other entrees we’d like to come back and try. Several pasta dishes and other dinner specials, as well as the calzones (which looked so good I almost changed our order) seem like they’d be worth trying. One caution: several people have said they’d tried to go there for lunch or dinner and found the restaurant to be closed. It might be worth it to try calling ahead to make sure someone will be there with Peroni and pizza when you arrive…

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