Joseph Coleman, owner of the former Blue Star restaurant, has transformed the longtime neighborhood Little Market & Deli, 749 E. Willamette Ave., into Stellina Pizza Café.
Sarah Mishler, chief of brand and strategy for Coleman’s The Blue Star Group, says the name Stellina “means little star in Italian and is a nod to the Little Market and Blue Star Group.”
Will Merwin, the former executive chef at The Blue Star, has created a menu that centers around Roman- style pizza. “In Rome, they are shaped into long strips on wooden boards and sold by the pound or slice,” he said. “We make ours in a smaller rectangle. The dough is important. We’ve been working on this recipe for a year using locally sourced grains or the best quality ingredients we can find.”
We tried the warm caprese starter ($9) with sweet roasted cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, arugula pesto drizzled with aged balsamic for a delicious start to dinner.
Then came the Rocket pizza ($16), deeply yeasty-flavored crust topped with mozzarella, ricotta, parmigiano reggiano and crowned with fresh rocket (arugula) lemon vinaigrette salad. Another entrée was a generous portion of spicy sausage lasagna ($16). There was plenty of food for two with leftovers.
Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays for takeout and contactless curbside pickup; a date has not been set for dine-in service. Details: Order online at buff.ly/3csG2YH, 220-6406, stellinapizza.co.