In two different quadrants of East Portland, married couple Gabriella Casabianca and Anthony Siccardi are sharing a slice of their East Coast Italian American heritage. Their pizza pop-up, No Saint, formerly took up residency in Dame; it gained a following among Portland’s pantheon of pizzerias for its Sicilian-style square cut pizzas, framed with a sesame-studded crust. But it wasn’t just about the pizzas — the pop-up also served smart seasonal sides, things like heirloom tomato salads salty with anchovy or chilled navy beans with hakurei turnips and snap peas. All of the above came with a tight lineup of strong natural wines, chosen by former Han Oak wine director Casabianca.
Now, the couple has two new spots to show off both their pizzas and their overarching food-and-drink prowess. In Northeast Portland, No Saint has taken over the former space of Handsome Pizza and Seastar Bakery. Simultaneously, they’ve also opened a wine shop and luncheonette called Mattino’s in Southeast Portland, featuring natural wines, sandwiches, and snacks.
At the new restaurant, No Saint’s pizzas and seasonal salads will be joined by 18-inch round pies and baked pastas, kissed by the building’s wood-fire oven. “We’re envisioning having a chalkboard up where we’ll write the menu every day,” Casabianca says. “Antipasti, salads, a few pies, and it just is always changing.”
Siccardi first started making pizza at mom-and-pop shops as a high schooler in upstate New York — after moving to Portland, he missed the flavors of home and began making pizza for family meal during shifts at Ok Omens and Tastebud.
The couple is bringing combined experience from working in some of Portland’s most noteworthy restaurants, with stints at Ava Gene’s, Coquine, and Sweedeedee between them. By 2019, Casabianca says both her and Siccardi, who were working in different restaurants, were feeling stagnant in their jobs.
“I wanted to explore wine more fully, and Anthony wanted to cook food that was his identity,” Casabianca says. While she was at Han Oak, chef Peter Cho gave her a piece of advice that was key to evolving No Saint: “You do pop-ups until you find something that has legs,” Cho said. “And when you find that thing that has legs, you go for it.”
In 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, wildfires, and popping up at Dame, the couple started making wine under the name Spumoni Wine. They poured their savings into making their first release, Baby Angel, a direct-press pinot grigio with fruit from Vitae Springs. The vineyard is also home to 100-year-old apple trees, which the couple harvested to make a pinot noir-cider blend. “It’s really special because apples are everywhere in upstate New York and pinot noir is everywhere in Oregon,” Casabianca says. “It’s our two worlds.”
At Mattino’s, which shares a space with the forthcoming cafe from Cloudforest, Casabianca wants to help carve out an accessible entry point for what she says “at the end of the day, is an elitist product.” Casabianca grew up food insecure, but grew curious of the wine world that was unfamiliar to her. She gravitated toward wine because she saw it a point of convergence between people, history, and culture. For years, she searched for a wine mentor — when she didn’t find one, she turned inward, absorbing reading materials and cobbling together an unconventional wine education.
Aside from simply existing as a bottle shop and restaurant, Mattino’s will act as a community space where the wine curious can find resources. “Our shop is anti-IYKYK culture,” an Instagram post reads. Casabianca has curated a small newsstand of publications she loves, including her friends’ project Digest, the Copenhagen-based Preserve Journal, and food history magazine Eaten. Bottles can be enjoyed onsite and are available to go, and the shop will pour selections that are guided by seasons — at the moment, that’s sparkling rosés, mineral-driven white wines, and light reds.
Mattino’s is open at 935 SE Hawthorne Boulevard. No Saint will open at 1603 NE Killingsworth Street. The restaurant will be takeout only to start and will offer full dining in January.