Pizza Molina, a casual, pizza-centric reincarnation of Todd Shoberg’s revered Molina restaurant that closed there in 2017, has opened its doors, re-connecting the space to the days when it was home to Ged Robertson’s Small Shed Flatbreads, which closed in November 2014.
“The thought was to pay homage to what the space had been,” says Laura Garner, marketing manager for the Moana Restaurant Group, which managed the transition, referring to the historic Alan Scott brick oven that was the foundation for both Molina and Small Shed. “That oven is so integral to the restaurant, and we want to pay tribute to what it was but also to make sure that it is a place for everyone in the community.”
Pizza Molina officially opened its doors on March 5, a soft opening for dine-in guests “while we kind of shake the dust off and get in the swing of things,” Garner says, noting that customers can order takeout over the phone, with online ordering likely available in the coming weeks.
While the Alan Scott brick oven remains the focal point of the space, the menu is decidedly different from Shoberg’s adventurous “truly chef-driven experience” that had music playing on the turntable each night.
As for the menu, starters range from marinated olives and Moroccan spiced almonds to house-made meatballs and burrata with kale pesto, as well as caesar, red beet and baby mixed kale salads. There are at least 10 pizzas on the menu, ranging from basics like margherita and vegan to an array of creative pizzas like roasted asparagus, gorgonzola, ricotta, rose wine vinegar, frisee, as well as one with thyme-roasted king trumpet, hen of the woods & alba mushrooms, garlic herb ricotta, fontina, fine herbs. The menu also has a variety of wine and craft beer options, and Almare Gelato.
Molina regulars will notice a significant decor change from the light, bright and airy former space to a warmer, darker blue with plenty of wood accents.