Last Wednesday night I had the pleasure of attending a pizza social along with some other local bloggers at Stone Hearth Pizza Co. While Stone Hearth also has locations in Belmont, Cambridge (where I've been several times), and Needham, we were all gathering at the newest location in Allston.
The Allston location is housed in a refurbished Citgo gas station. It's a pretty cool space, with large, windowed garage doors at the front and decorative strands of white lights.
I ran into Bianca on the bus on the way over, so we walked in together to find a long table set up for our group. The table was decked out with dishes of fresh heirloom eggs, pint glasses adorned with the Clown Shoes logo, and pamphlets with information about our hosts.
The social was hosted by Stone Hearth, Pete & Gerry's, and Clown Shoes. Stone Hearth was founded on the principles of SOL: sustainable, organic, and local. You can read more about the measures Stone Hearth takes to create a sustainable space at each of their restaurants over on their website. Stone Hearth uses organic and local ingredients and has even taken that one step farther to buying, cooking, and serving "clean food," which according to them is "foods whose origins we know, trust, and that is being produced in ways that preserve the earth and our increasingly scarce resources."
It's no surprise then that Stone Hearth would be highlighting and sharing with us companies like Pete & Gerry's, known for their organic, local eggs and commitment to sustainable farming, and Clown Shoes, a Boston-based beer company.
Once most of the group had arrived, Sean, a brand manager at Clown Shoes, poured our first beer of the evening: Clementine. This Belgian-style white ale was very light bodied and crisp with lots of bright citrus notes.
As we sampled this white ale, we also nibbled on some of Stone Hearth's tasty appetizers. The Parmesan flatbread is one of my favorites. It's simply pizza dough oven-fired with garlic-infused oil and topped with some Parmesan and seasonings. It has that perfect chewy texture you'd expect and it goes perfectly with the melanzana, a roasted eggplant spread.
The meatball poppers in spicy tomato sauce were another appetizer I remembered from previous visits. They're made from locally raised beef and stuffed with mozzarella and spices. You can actually get the poppers in the spicy tomato sauce, regular tomato sauce, or a creamy roasted onion and herb sauce. It's worth trying all of them.
The cheddar-covered olives were new to me and definitely a more unusual appetizer. They're green olives stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, covered in cheddar cheese dough, and baked until they're nice and crisp.
Once we'd had our fill of appetizers, all the salads arrived. Stone Hearth has an amazing selection of salads, and they range from a basic Caesar to an arugula and portobello salad. The spinach salad with avocado is definitely my favorite.
|Stone Hearth Caesar: romaine and radicchio mix with house made croutons and grated Parmesan|
|Shaved celeriac, pears, and romaine|
|Spinach & Avocado: Fresh spinach served with sliced avocado and shaved red onion|
We moved on to the next beer, and the jokes ensued as soon as everyone heard the name: Tramp Stamp. Clown Shoes definitely likes to have a little fun with its beer. Tramp Stamp is described as a bodacious Belgian IPA, with soft but complex malts and sweet orange peel.
We enjoyed the IPA while playing a competitive game of beer, egg, and pizza trivia, and then we feasted on the variety of pizzas Stone Hearth had to offer.
|Bacon & Blue: Garlic oil, julienned zucchini/squash blend, mozzarella/provolone blend, smoked bacon, blue cheese, cherry tomatoes, and finished with fresh basil|
|Prosciutto & Pineapple: Signature tomato sauce, mozzarella/provolone blend, and scallions|
|Farm Fresh: Garlic oil, cherry tomatoes, charred red/yellow peppers, Yukon Gold potatoes, artichoke hearts, green olives, fresh mozzarella, and topped with a salad of arugula, red onion and prosciutto|
|The Bean: Garlic oil, white bean spread, fresh mozzarella, sautéed red onion topped with a spinach, red onion, and pesto salad|
|The Divine Goddess: Healthful version of a white pizza. Garlic oil, topped with a mixture of fresh spinach, broccoli, local ricotta cheese and finished with our cheese blend and a pinch of Parmesan|
|A new pizza made with kale, sausage, and King Richard leeks|
While I have enjoyed any Stone Hearth pizza I've ever tried, for me, nothing beats the Bacon and Blue.
As we were filling up on pizza, Sean poured us each a glass of the Brown Angel, a double brown ale with obvious notes of chocolate and coffee.
As for dessert, we were able to sample some Custard for a Cause. This egg custard is made with Pete & Gerry's heirloom eggs and will be available year-round with different toppings, depending on what's in season locally. We had the wintry version with a maple and walnut topping. I was a little worried because I'm not much of a custard fan, but this custard is more like a firm vanilla pudding than a flan in texture, and I really liked it.
We also got to try some purple sweet potato gelato made by fellow blogger Dan from The Food in My Beard. This was the most uniquely flavored gelato I've ever tried, and it definitely tasted just like sweet potatoes.
A huge thank you to everyone at Stone Hearth, Ken from Pete & Gerry's, and Sean from Clown Shoes for making this such an incredible evening, teaching us more about their great companies, and treating us to such delicious food and beer.
This dinner was complimentary, but my opinions are my own. I've had Stone Hearth pizza several times before, and it's always a great experience.
Have you been to Stone Hearth before? Or do you have a local pizza restaurant that's committed to sustainable, local, organic, and community?