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L'Osteria, an Italian eatery in Stuttgart, serves their pizzas extra-large. The restaurant also serves a wide variety of pasta dishes.
L'Osteria, an Italian eatery in Stuttgart, serves their pizzas extra-large. The restaurant also serves a wide variety of pasta dishes. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)
L'Osteria, an Italian eatery in Stuttgart, serves their pizzas extra-large. The restaurant also serves a wide variety of pasta dishes.
L'Osteria, an Italian eatery in Stuttgart, serves their pizzas extra-large. The restaurant also serves a wide variety of pasta dishes. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)
L'Osteria is a new restaurant in Stuttgart's Europaviertel section, a redeveloped quarter that includes the city library and a large shopping mall.
L'Osteria is a new restaurant in Stuttgart's Europaviertel section, a redeveloped quarter that includes the city library and a large shopping mall. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

The pizzas are too big for the plates at L’Osteria, an Italian restaurant chain in Europe that opened a new branch recently in Stuttgart’s newish Europaviertel section.

The restaurant was bustling on a recent weekend evening and we managed to get a table in the corner. I had been looking forward to the visit ever since L’Osteria replaced some sort of Asian fusion joint that never seemed to catch on, despite occupying a prime piece of foot-trafficked real estate.

Situated next to the city library, the popular Milaneo shopping mall and a mix of upscale condos, a trendy pizzeria was the missing niche here. And as I read L’Osteria’s menu, I was pleased with the variety, the bevy of toppings to choose from and the reasonable prices. The atmosphere was lively, with Italian pop music blasting and an exuberant mix of young and old clientele. The kitchen was large and open — the pizza chefs were flying around the big wood stove, slinging in the pies.

I ordered an uncluttered pizza with spicy salami. After all, the worth of a pizza is determined by the quality of its bread, sauce and cheese. It should not be a dumping ground for the unrestrained delivery of distracting toppings.

But as we waited for our orders, I saw cause for concern. I watched as pies got served to the surrounding tables. They were too big for the very big platter they were served on. The crust hung off the edges. Perhaps it was intended as a grand gesture of abundance. But L’Osteria’s signature pizza statement looked cumbersome and annoying.

At a neighboring table of four, the four large pizzas couldn’t even fit on the table without a complicated realignment of drinks. Luckily, we were just three and one pizza was off the kids’ menu, so it all fit. And it all tasted very good. I consumed every bit despite my irritation with the pizza’s contours.

Geometric challenges aside, L’Osteria is a worthy choice. And there are options other than pizza, which comes in just one massive size. Pasta dishes abound as well as salads and antipasti offerings.

Still, while enjoyable, L’Osteria seems best as a place to eat when you are in the neighborhood on other business rather than destination dining.

vandiver.john@stripes.com Twitter:@john_vandiver

Location: 7 Mailaender Platz, StuttgartHours: 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily.Dress: CasualPrices: Moderate. Pizzas range between $12 and $15Information:www.losteria.netPhone: (49) (0)711 22007707

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