Lyme, New Hampshire, has a new restaurant. Last year, Lyme residents Bob and Denby Coyle, who had brought urban-style bagels to rural Hanover, New Hampshire, with their Bagel Basement stores, bought the old Nichol's Hardware building on Lyme's common with plans to convert it into an Italian pizzeria. Lyme rejoiced.
That is to say, it was supposed to be a pizza joint, but then Bob and Denby hired Chef Martin Murphy. Classically trained and with 25 years of restaurant experience under the belt of his chef's whites, Murphy suggested something a little different. What if we put blood orange in the creme brulée? What if the Shrimp Fra Diavolo used real green chiles instead of crushed red pepper? What if we used local and fresh, instead of pre-fab and flabby?
The result is Stella's. We've eaten there twice. Steve had pasta with an authentic ragù, made with pork and beef and simmered in milk. Meg's Fra Diavolo blew the competitor's out of the water. A Garden Veggie Pizza offered loads of lovely vegetables with a marinara made with fresh tomatoes and a crust that was crisp and discreet. For $15, it fed two for lunch with three slices left over for another meal.
Eat at Stella's soon. You won't be disappointed.