After a hiatus Mill Valley’s Molina is back, anointed with a new prefix — Pizza — and a new chef, Justin Bruckert. Bruckert is no stranger to the Marin food scene. In fact, he’s well seasoned when it comes to the county and one of it’s favorite dishes — after a year and a half at Piatti serving as its executive sous chef, he made his way out to West Marin. Here he held the same position of executive sous chef at Station House Cafe in Point Reyes Station and performed a bit of juggling act, opening Side Street Kitchen in the old Pine Cone Diner location during his tenure. But Mill Valley came calling again. “Upon the closure of Molina, which had unintentionally become somewhat of a special occasion restaurant, Moana Restaurant Group began thinking about a way to utilize the space and pay homage to the Alan Scott oven while remaining a place for any occasion, or no occasion at all,” says Bruckert. “And Pizza Molina was born!”
Everything at Pizza Molina still centered around the wood fired Alan Scott oven, which turns out the restaurant’s ingredient-driven, distinctly Northern California pies. Gluten-free crusts are an option as well as vegan cheese sourced locally from Miyoko's Kitchen. Dessert is also a Bay Area affair with gelato from Almare Gelato in Berkeley. Returning patrons will find the vibe to be more relaxed and family friendly, with a bevy of local wines and craft beers all on tap. “The wine list is mainly California wines, as well as the beer,” says Bruckert. “We are trying to be as local as possible as well as promote some breweries that you don't typically see in Mill Valley, for instance Fieldwork.” But there is another beer available on tap, the Italian classic Peroni.
WHO: Chef Justin Bruckert of Pizza Molina
WHAT: Pizzeria returns with a more casual, family-friendly vibe.
WHERE: 17 Madrona Street, 415.383.4200, pizzamolina.com
$$, beer and wine only, D, good for kids, outdoor seating