There’s a new kid on the block of Easton’s thriving dining scene–and word of mouth has it this place will make you seriously drool. Stoke Coal Fire Pizza & Bar is a casual, downtown space whose menu resembles a pizza shop, yet its interior has a hip, yet homefelt atmosphere of a New York cafe lounge. The restaurant opened its kitchen in January, adding a feeling of laid-back comfort to Easton’s more formal, upscale dining establishments.
As most college students, I too am a creature of habit and so, upon hearing of Stoke’s initial praise, did not hasten to try the Californian 5,000 lb. coal-fired oven until just this past week. I have been missing out. For starters, why had no one informed me of Stoke’s totally college-friendly wine keg, an innovative way to serve house wines on tap? Moreover, the interior of the restaurant, all the while forming a relaxed, cozy atmosphere is trendy and urban, appropriate for every guest and occasion. The seating, both booths and individual chairs, are uncushioned, however, making for a perhaps slightly too hip, slightly too “cafeteria” vibe. However, I came to Stoke’s for the food, and left feeling very satisfied.
While the menu is not large, a select number of mouthwatering options is preferable to an endless list of dishes that fail to grasp the appetite. The burrata bruschetta, a favorite cheese of mine, was an immediate pick from the appetizer selection. The dish, amounting to a sizable chunk of creamy cheese deliciousness and balsamic, was accompanied by lightly grilled crostini bread and roasted red pepper bruschetta. It left me delighted and the plate licked clean.
For an entree, the house favorite “fig and pig” flatbread pizza was irresistible, featuring a delicate fig spread, prosciutto and ricotta, honey and balsamic reduction, and topped to perfection with arugula. The variety of interesting and bright flavors in the dish were fantastic, as was the thin-crust, crispy pizza dough cooked in under 90 seconds in the coal fire oven. From my assigned booth, I was able to see the several pizza specials listed on the chalkboard behind the bar, yet those less privileged guests seated further into the restaurant may be unable to view the menu. So, I recommend asking for the specials just in case.
Despite the indulgent, filling meal, I just had to get dessert. I opted, with no regrets, for the chocolate cake. Served in a trendy mason jar, the chunky, rich chocolatey treat arrived topped with crushed pretzels, making for the ultimate sweet and salty combination. Seriously, I would go back for the dessert alone–not to mention the burrata and the pizza, and the rest of the tasty menu I’ve yet to try. On top of everything else, Stoke’s is uncommonly budget friendly, making the restaurant an affordable treat for college students at the end of a long school year.
The restaurant is open Sundays-Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. – 12 a.m., and Fridays-Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m. Stoke’s Coal Fire Pizza & Bar is a college student’s dream come true.