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The first impression as one walks into Stoked is “comfort.” A ramp leads diners down into a seating area with red vinyl booths, a high top bar in front of the pizza oven, and stainless steel tables. Prints of stereos are all over the walls, implying a ‘70s and ‘80s aesthetic.
The music that plays is eclectic with a mix of jazz and indie, with some great throwbacks mixed in. Stickers almost completely cover the outside of the pizza oven, and the definition of “stoked” is displayed proudly behind the bar.
Warm sunlight floods the front of the restaurant and we get our table waters in glass bottles, which actually greatly increased our experience and appreciation of the water; the little things make all the difference.
Our service was fantastic: the servers were jovial and cracking jokes, creating an amazing dining experience.
The first thing we ordered was the pan seared cauliflower fritters with a red pepper coulis and arugula leaves with olive oil ($8.00). The soft and chewy center was an excellent display of the meat of the cauliflower leaf. The fritter was sweeter by the edge of the leaves and the red pepper coulis sauce added the tang that was needed. The oiled arugula, provided a satisfying crunch to the soft cauliflower leaf; everything worked excellently together and the dish was a great addition to the meal.
The two pizzas we ordered were the classic cheese and the meatball and ricotta. The cheese, a great way to judge a new pizza place, had tomato sauce, mozzarella and pecorino romano cheese ($12.00). The mozzarella certainly came through more than the pecorino, but hey, the more cheese the better.
The sauce was superb, but not very evenly spread out. A crunchy crust with a chewy center and a flavor of tang made it most memorable. There is not much to do with a simple cheese pizza but Stoked does it well.
The meatball and ricotta was an objectively lovely dish, the ricotta spiraled over a beautifully textured crust, the olive oil, meat and tomato sauce creating a compelling image ($16.00). The meat was incredibly well seasoned, and the basil infused olive oil that was drizzled over could be tasted, and definitely added to the flavor. The ricotta added a creamy texture to an already deliciously gooey pizza, which was a little much.
Yet with all of the flavors and textures the pizza did not feel like it was overloaded. Admittedly the crust was the most amazing I had ever tasted, the audibly crunchy crust yielded a perfectly fluffy inside. It was pretty small for $16.00 and three people but maybe with fewer people the experience would be better.
As a final treat, when the check was brought over, little homemade rice krispie treats were given along with it.