Get Stoked for Pizza in Brookline
Here’s a look inside Stoked Wood Fired Pizza Co.’s brick-and-mortar, opening Thursday.
Stoked Wood Fired Pizza opens it first restaurant on Thursday for lunch, dinner, and late-night—all set to an exceptional playlist.
The compact, 49 seat hangout, taking over the short-lived Sunny Boy, offers signature pizzas familiar to Stoked food truck fans, plus new snacks, local libations, and a family-friendly, retro atmosphere.
Stoked comes from partners Scott Riebling and Toirm Miller, who’ve been on the Boston music and restaurant scenes for years. Riebling is an avid pizza-maker, former recording engineer, and musician, notably bassist in Letters to Cleo; and Miller ran the Copley Square food cart Jack and the Bean Bowl. Stoked’s Neapolitan-meets-New Haven pies are the reigning best in Boston.
In Washington Square, classic cheese; barbecue chicken and bacon; buffalo Brussels sprouts, and other pizzas are joined by a new, smashed meatball and ricotta pie, plus appetizers and a salad. (See the opening menu below.)
Riebling will also introduce ever-changing specials. To start, it’s scallops Mozambique, a non-traditional take on the spicy Portuguese snack common at restaurants around Riebling’s Raynham neighborhood.
“There is such a huge Portuguese influence down here because of Fall River and New Bedford being so close,” he says. “There are a couple Portuguese restaurants in [the] East Cambridge [area], but there isn’t a lot of Portuguese food in Boston. People in Boston need to have this sauce. It’s an incredibly flavorful, addictive sauce that is perfect with seafood.”
Riebling will expand on the menu with sandwiches and brunch items in the coming months, he says.
“It’s how we started with the truck,” he says. “Specials that turn into standard menu items once we realize what people are coming back for.”
From day one, Stoked will sling late-night pies. “There’s a lot of great restaurants in Washington Square and we keep meeting people who work there,” Riebling says. They’ve told him there are no after-work spot in the neighborhood, so he wants to fill that void. Stoked’s license allows for booze ’til 1 a.m., and as long as there’s demand for them, there will be pizzas, too.
The chewy, charred rounds are coming from a wood-fueled Pevasi oven, in full view behind the bar. The bar is also home to eight draft lines, including five, Craft Collective-sourced brews, like Hermit Thrush, Kent Falls, and Banded Horn.
There are three draft cocktails from opening bar manager Gabe Bellegard Bastos, too, including a Privateer Rum daiquiri; and “an original cocktail called the Avivado; it means ‘stoked’ in Spanish,” Bastos says. It’s a play on the traditionally gin-based Twentieth Century cocktail, which substitutes Del Maguey Mezcal.
A concise wine list is focused on small-batch producers, and value, he says. To help guests navigate the idiosyncratic menu, he’s organized a matrix. “We list the grape, region, country, and year, but the top is a tasting note to help consumers navigate the weirder grapes and regions we’re working with.”
There are also stirred cocktails from the former Ribelle, Baldwin Bar, and Farmstead Table bartender; plus select canned and bottled beers, like Jack’s Abby House Lager and Brooklyn Brown Ale, Bastos says.
Meredith Byam, Miller’s wife, spearheaded the restaurant design, which features red, vinyl booths; mid-century starburst pendant lights she made; a Jared Yamahata art piece inspired by the Sandlot; and Pac Man-meets-pizza wallpaper in the bathrooms.
“The pizza tastes high-brow, but we’re not going about it in a high-brow way. We’re just trying to do something comfortable, fun, and cool,” Byam says.
Practical amenities include coat hooks and power outlets under the bar; plus baby changing stations in both the women’s and men’s rooms.
For his part, Riebling is excited about the restaurant’s sound system. “We’ll be playing album sides on certain nights. There’s going to be a real music focus to the bar and restaurant,” he says.
Here’s the opening menu:
Stoked Wood Fired Pizza Co., opening Thursday, April 14, 11:30 a.m., 1632 Beacon St., Brookline, 617-982-FIRE, stokedpizzaco.com.