Food & Drink

The Cantinetta crew make pizza in Bellevue

Usually, to open a pizza place, all it takes is two guys and a girl. And a jukebox repairman who eventually marries that girl in a later season. But Mercato Stellina Pizzeria manages to best even that choice formula, thanks to its chef (the guy behind Cantinetta), and its sweet 'za line-up prepped in an imported Italian wood-fired oven.

Available either small or large, the house pies range from a Salsiccia with caramelized fennel, mozzarella & basil, to a Spot Prawn w/ fried capers & spinaci, to a smoked mozzarella number w/ preserved lemon, which is especially rare considering most lemons don't usually do much estate planning. They're also doing antipasti like braised greens w/ Pecorino Toscano & Calabria chili, as well as panini options that include porchetta w/ caramelized fennel & provola, and the Stellina salumi w/ prosciutto, speck & smoked cheese, presumably aged four years and inevitably sourced from Slim Charles.

To dull the pain of yet another joke referencing The Wire, or to pair nicely with MSP's eats, there's a solid selection of Italian wines that'll be good whether you're hanging out with two guys, a girl, or just a jukebox repairman who eventually becomes a fireman during the third season.