Hands down, the best pizza in Boston comes from the ovens of Stone Hearth Pizza. As something of a pizza connoisseur, I've yet to find a match for their delicious thin crusts and locally sourced toppings. My first meal at their Cambridge location started my partial boycott of Boston pizza standby Upper Crust, even before their labor scandal.
And even better than their creatively topped house originals? The salads. At Stone Hearth you won't find your standard pizza parlor Greek and Caesars. Every month Stone Hearth features a wonderfully fresh (and creative) salad of seasonal vegetables and fruits.
We stopped into Stone Hearth's Belmont restaurant (57 Leonard St.) to meet their Executive Chef Michael Ehlenfeldt and watch him prepare one of Stone Hearth's most beautiful pizzas, the Farm Fresh. Garlic oil, cherry tomatoes, charred red & yellow peppers, Yukon gold potatoes, artichoke hearts, green olives, fresh mozzarella, arugula, red onion, and a slice of prosciutto all come together in what's a perfect example of Stone Hearth's attention to their quality, locally-sourced ingredients. Their take-out boxes are even printed with a map of their sources.
See more photos from our visit on our Flickr.
And because one Stone Hearth pizza just isn't enough, the day after our visit, we ordered another one of my favorite house pizzas to plate ourselves. Topped with scallions and a generous helping of prosciutto, their Prosciutto & Pineapple pizza is a fantastic twist on a classic Hawaiian and the perfect combination of sweet and salty.
We put together an earthy tablesetting with heavy Libeco Home Napoli Vintage linen, Heath Coupe dinnerware, and Heath Rim dinnerware. Chilewich Rib Weave placemats gave the setting some texture and offset the browns of the Libeco linen and Heath Ceramics plates.
We carried the setting's earthy aesthetic into the simple earthenware-like Heath Modern cups and the copper colored tile we used as a serving platter for the pizza.
The meal started with a generous helping of a Stone Hearth salad on a Rim salad plate. This month's special is a watercress salad topped with julienned carrots and broccoli stems, toasted almonds, dried cranberries and a housemade maple balsamic. The sweetness of the dressing and cranberries perfectly countered the bitterness of the fresh, crispy watercress. And the carrot slaw-like topping gave it just the right amount of texture.
We served the pizza on Heath Coupe dinner plates. Stone Hearth's crust is made with organic flour and comes out perfect nearly every time. They call it the right "balance of chew, crunch and char." The tomato sauce is fresh and mild and not too salty and their mozzarella/provolone blend sets their pies apart from all those pizza joints whose cheese comes from frozen bags of plasticy mozzarella.
For dessert, I didn't have the will to resist ordering the Brownie Sundae--local gelato on a warm brownie and topped with hot fudge and candied nuts. Couples beware! If you're splitting one of these, you might find yourselves fighting over the who gets the last spoonful with candied nuts. These things are so delicious, they inspired me to try making my own. Any kind of candying can be a messy job, but it's just a matter of cooking the nuts in a saucepan with some simple syrup and then letting the sugary coating cool and harden.