Chef Bobby Saritsoglou and Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou are ready to debut Stina, their new restaurant at 1705 Snyder Avenue in South Philly’s Newbold neighborhood. Expect wood-fired pizza, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern specialities, and quirky decor in the small BYOB, where the walls are lined with old photos, paintings of kittens, preserved butterflies, tambourines, and parts of doors, and a high-stepping clown decorates one purple-painted section.
The aesthetic is guided by Kallas-Saristsoglou, who is co-founder of Philly AIDS Thrift, the long-running charitable thrift store at 5th and Bainbridge that carries one of the odder mixes of items you’ll find in Philly. She’s been collecting the paintings, mirrors, and knickknacks that adorn the restaurant from flea markets and vintage shops for years. Her husband contributed the 25 repurposed doors, which he’s been amassing for a decade.
Stina, named for Kallas-Saristsoglou, will have its own charitable component. The couple plans to donate a portion of sales to local charities every month and host a regular fundraising night in the restaurant.
Chef Saritsoglou is best known for his time at Opa, the Greek restaurant in Midtown Village, and he’s bringing some similar flavors to Stina. Start with the mezze section of the menu for dishes like roasted garlic hummus, flaky Turkish borek filled with cheese and honey, and octopus with almond romesco. There’s a fattoush salad, a falafel sandwich with tabbouleh and whipped yogurt, a chicken shawarma sandwich, and a lone hoagie; an Italian — this is South Philly, after all. If you’re craving pasta, there are lamb-filled manti (Turkish-style dumplings) and a lasagna with spiced beef ragu and bechamel.
But the stars on the menu are the brick oven–baked pizzas and the pide. Keep it simple with a margherita pie, or go for the spicy soppressata with honey and fior di latte cheese, or the eggplant, lemon, and za’atar combo. Slices are available during lunch, but it’s full pies only at dinner.
The pide — similar to pizza in concept but shaped like a boat — is packed with either spiced lamb sausage and mozzarella, braised greens, egg, and goat cheese, or a mix of mushrooms.
In the kitchen is a big Morello Forni oven brought over from Genoa, Italy. “This will be our only cooking implement, so it will be our workhorse,” Saritsoglou said in an email.
The chef was most recently in the kitchen at Chris Kearse’s highly praised Will BYOB on East Passyunk Avenue, closing this weekend so Kearse can focus on his upcoming Old City restaurant, Forsythia.
Unlike in East Passyunk, located on the other side of Broad Street, there aren’t destination restaurants across the way in Newbold. But look for that to change as the neighborhood evolves and restaurants, bars, and breweries, like Stina, set up shop, both in Newbold, where the Saritsoglous live, and next door in West Passyunk.
Stina opens Friday, May 31, at 5 p.m. Starting next week, the hours are Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Take a peek inside, and scroll down for the full menu: