The Star, the popular brand of deep-dish pizza restaurants in the Bay Area, finally opens for good this weekend, with Oregon wines, Mama Lil’s topped pizzas, and a massive, comfy dining room in the heart of Portland’s Pearl District.
Earlier this year, The Star announced that it would open a location in the Pearl District’s former Paragon space, its first outside of California. The Star — or its predecessor and sibling, Little Star Pizza — has developed its own reputation in California, topped with everything from house-made meatballs to sundried tomatoes. The restaurant specializes in its sturdy deep-dish pizzas, but The Star also draws crowds for its thin-crust pizzas, salads, and sandwiches, complete with things like marinated Mary’s chicken and garlic-infused olive oil.
The Portland location is, in certain ways, a replica of the original restaurant, with similar deep-dish pizzas and cheesy monkey bread. But The Star’s northern outpost is getting a Portland touch, from pies topped with Zenner’s spicy sausage and Mama Lil’s cherry peppers to a beverage menu stacked with Willamette Valley wines and Oregon beer. That local touch extends to the restaurant’s design, including a restaurant’s massive mural by Portland artist Ashley Montague.
In general, The Star’s menu of accessible-but-polished salads, sandwiches, and pizzas matches the decor: Lined with garage windows, the space is airy and casual, with the occasional ritzy touch like the restaurant’s several chandeliers. The restaurant seats more than 100 — 150 if you count the patio — which makes it feel roomy, stocked with both massive semi-circle booths, comfy leather bar stools, and communal tables. The Star briefly opened Wednesday and Thursday, closing Friday before opening for good Saturday — look inside and explore the restaurant’s food and drink menus below:
• The Star [Official]
• A New Deep-Dish Pizzeria Is Opening in the Pearl District [EPDX]
• Previous Little Star coverage [Eater SF]
• Paragon Will Close This Month in the Pearl [EPDX]