First Look: Stella Barra in Lincoln Park

By Sarah Freeman  |  November 22, 2013
Credit: Nick Murway

Just a week after Summer House Santa Monica started serving a taste of the sunny West Coast, another California import opened in Lincoln Park yesterday. Stella Barra is Summer House's pizzeria sister spot, also operated by chef/partner Jeff Mahin and Lettuce Entertain You. The third location for the concept (the first two are in Hollywood and Santa Monica) offers Mahin’s signature pies with a thin, bubbly crust and fresh toppings along with a 40-bottle wine list focused on varietals from Southern Italy. The 120-seat space is now open for dinner daily.

1954 N. Halsted St.; 773-634-4101

  • Food

    This place is really all about the pizza; a small charcuterie selection, housemade breads and salads play second fiddle to the pies. Mahin’s pizzas start with California-milled flour, filtered water, sea salt and yeast to create a crisp crust with a chewy center. Each crust can be topped with a variety of meats and produce. Red pizza varieties include guanciale and roasted onions as well as housemade pork sausage with fennel pollen, while white pizzas feature butternut squash with candied bacon or prosciutto and farm egg. In addition to pizza, the restaurant serves handmade pasta, such as gemelli with slow-cooked rapini; spicy sausage with parmesan brood and chili flakes; and classic meatballs.

  • Credit: Nick Murway


    The wine-focused menu offers red, white and sparkling wine by the bottle and glass. The selection mostly hails form Southern Italy and Sicily with a few Tuscan bottles. In addition to wine, six beers are on draft, from PBR to Revolution’s Eugene Porter, and several more are available by the bottle. In addition to wine and beer, a hand-crafted cocktail section serves a mix of reinterpreted classics including a Negroni Sbagliato with Cocchi Torino vermouth, Aperol and Prosecco as well as a Sicilian Highball with Averna, Cynar, lemon and ginger beer. Two additional cocktail are on draft - the Heart of Another with rum, lime, pineapple and maraschino as well as the Americano Rosa with Aperol, Cocchi Rosa and lemon.

  • Credit: Nick Murway


    With the feel of downtown LA in Lincoln Park, exposed brick and dark tones plus a centrally located concrete bar fill the space. Behind the bar, a glowing wine cabinet holds much of the restaurants wine selection. Nearby, an open kitchen, with additional bar seating, allows for a view of pizza prep and the double oven. The dining room is filled with tables and miss-matched chairs below Edison blub light fixtures, and a mix of rough materials defines the decor, from subway tiles to wood siding. In addition to the dining room, Stella Barra has a hidden vintage brick patio with bluestone floors, a six-foot fireplace and hanging lights, with a 15-foot tree as its centerpiece.