782 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
I have a goal: to eat my way through the pizza menu at Stone Hearth Pizza Cambridge. We are not talking red sauce and cheese on a disk here. We are talking sustainable, organic and local.
We are talking nitrate-free pepperoni, Angus beef, fontina cheese, goat cheese, white beans, red onions, charred peppers, garlic infused oil and perfectly roasted fresh veggies. And the dough? White, wheat, multi-grain and gluten-free; if the dough isn’t good, it doesn’t matter what you put on top. The dough is great, thin, chewy, and crisp on the edges.
We all have a friend who goes out for pizza with you and then wants anything but pizza. No problem here. There’s pasta, panninis, strombolis, soup, salad, and local micro brew beer. The calzone with roasted vegetables, a vegetarian option, was stuffed with tender fresh zucchini, perfect onion pieces, delicately roasted eggplant, and slightly, but not too much, charred peppers.
Not as exciting as the pizza, but good enough that I took the leftovers home. My salad choice, a monthly special made with escarole, was large enough for two of us to share. I appreciated that it was not over dressed so that each ingredient kept its character.
The restaurant’s concept carries through the whole menu. The beer list is short, but interesting and mostly local. They have put some thought into a simple dessert menu as well.
There are fresh baked cookies, with a gluten free option, a root beer float made with Maine Root Beer and Firenze vanilla gelato, and an affogato featuring Rao’s espresso coffee. There’s nothing generic here.
You may not care that all the dough is prepared in their commissary, where the environment can be properly controlled or that all the other ingredients are fresh and prepared at each location. You may want to remove the word artisanal from your vocabulary altogether.
But I just called and asked for the pizza and salad special of the month. I do remember hearing something about smoked bacon and Yukon gold potatoes with scallions on the pizza and a salad of mixed greens, beets, and goat cheese with Cabernet-Oregano Dressing.
The concept is a winner and prices are in line with the quality of the ingredients. Although most items were appealing and tasty, some dishes could do with a bigger flavor kick. Ambience in the Porter Square location, where I ate, was charming, simple, and casual. The staff was very helpful and personable.
My companion, who says she hates pizza, hot cheese, and lemon on her salad, looked at our meager remains with “I should have hated everything here and I loved it.” Enough said.
Stone Hearth Pizza Map & Directions
[pw_map address=”782 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA”]