The Stone Pizza
The Stone Pizza is an indie takeout counter and delivery operation tucked away on Scarborough Road north of Kingston Road in the Upper Beaches.
Manning the kitchen, Helder Cabral (formerly of Prohibition ) is focused exclusively on pizzas. He isn't tied to any specific regional style - only to making everything from scratch and using fresh ingredients. There's not even a freezer on site.
The joint is a bright open production kitchen with just a few stools where walk-ins can scarf down a slice, or wait and watch while whole pies are rolled out, topped and tossed into the oven. When I visit on a recent afternoon, the dinner rush hasn't begun yet and the young staff are chatty and cheerful - the whole experience feels like I'm just hanging out in a friend's kitchen while they fix me a bite.
Slices are ready for grab and go, and wait par-baked until ordered, so that they don't dry out, but can be served up in just minutes. The menu advertises slices in four varieties ranging from traditional margherita ($3) to twists on Hawaiian, like the Don Ho ($3.50) done with fresh pineapple, capicollo, cheese and chili oil.
The menu is concise, listing a total of eight house pizzas, and there's not even a list of ingredients to customize from - though they will happily oblige requests with whatever ingredients are on hand. "One customer brings her own daiya cheese," I'm told. "Another brought in sardines to experiment with." The staff clearly like to get inventive, but I think the limited menu is more about keeping things fresh and focused rather than trying to exclude anyone.
The limited selection is intriguing nonetheless. It features fun, offbeat choices like the Apple Jack ($13), a 14-inch pie dressed with vintage cheddar, caramelized onions, grilled apples, herbed oil and fresh arugula. The focaccia-like dough is light and chewy, and manages to be thin but not floppy. I'm a fan.
There is talk of adding salads, sandwiches and pastas but for now pizzas are the sole attraction. In summer months there is space for patio seating out front, while the rest of the year, count on pick-up seven days a week from noon and delivery available after 4pm.
Photos by Jesse Milns