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Zagat: Stella Brings Sit-Down Italian Fare To Macy's

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Zagat editor James Mulcahy visited Herald Square to see a new Italian restaurant that sits on the sixth floor of a legendary department store.

Stella 34, operated by the Patina restaurant group, actually sits on the sixth floor of Macy's flagship store in Herald Square. Lincoln's Jonathan Benno collaborated on the Italian menu with executive chef Jarett Appell.

"When Jarett came on board, he worked with up for a period of two to three months at Lincoln, developing specifically the pasta program, says Benno. "We are fortunate enough at Lincoln, and fortunate enough at Stella, to have the resources to prepare the pastas in house."

Fluffy Neapolitan pizzas with toppings like cauliflower and Meyer lemon are cooked in wood-fired ovens named Italy's active volcanoes. Appell explains one of the signature pies gets customers to eat their vegetables.

"Currently we're doing a cauliflower pizza," he says. The base of the pizza itself is made from a white cauliflower puree. Being able to prepare that puree in a certain manner that would lend itself well to a pizza, having that chef background aids in that."

The former storage space that houses the restaurant contains many tables with excellent views of Herald Square and the Empire State Building.

"You have two entrances," says Appell. "One of them funnels you through a small retail space that has a very unique gelato program in it. The intention is to have that area suitable for people to maybe sit and have a great espresso and have pastry items in our lounge and also funnels guests through to a very large, expansive dining room that looks out onto Herald Square."

The views are not the only treat at this spot. Visitors can order dessert from the first U.S. branch of Vivoli, a famous sorbet maker from Florence. Owner and gelato maker Silvana Vivoli is excited to be operating within America.

She says, "I'm the third generation. My grandfather started in 1929. People who come to Florence, they usually go to Duomo, to the Dome, to Uffizi and then to Vivoli."

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