A Visit to Stellina Pronto

Stellina Pronto is known for its puffs. One look at these beauties and it's easy to see why.
Stellina Pronto is known for its puffs. One look at these beauties and it’s easy to see why.

For months, I’d heard inklings about just how fabulous the Petaluma Italian bakery, Stellina Pronto, was. Then, when a good friend, whose pastry bar is as high as mine, raved about it, I knew I had to make a beeline a couple weeks ago when I was in Sonona Wine Country.

All you need do is look for the line out the door to find it, as there almost always is one.

It’s no wonder, because this bakery, which opened last summer, is first-rate.

That’s no surprise when you realize it was opened by Chef Christian Caiazzo and his wife, Katrina Fried, who owned the highly regarded Osteria Stellina in Point Reyes Station until its closure in August 2020.

Don't despair at the line. It moves fairly quickly.
Don’t despair at the line. It moves fairly quickly.
A look at part of the bakery case.
A look at part of the bakery case.

The glass cases are filled with all manner of sweet, buttery treats, most of them sweet, but with a surprisingly wide variety of savory ones, too. Look for pizza to make its debut in the future, too.

The bakery is known for its puffs, square pastries, each as large as my entire hand. I picked up two sweet versions, the lemon ricotta puff ($6) and the raspberry ($6.50).

The lemon ricotta was a puddle of creamy, sweet-tart lemon curd atop smooth ricotta in the center of the lofty-layered pastry. The other featured plenty of fresh raspberries dotting a thick, creamy custard. Have your fill of either one on a lazy Sunday morning, and you’ll easily be set until lunch time.

The morning bun (front), and kouign-amann (back).
The morning bun (front), and kouign-amann (back).

The kouign-amann ($6.50) that day had a filling of lovely tangy, tropical passion fruit inside crisp layers of buttery pastry that were a bit denser than that at B. Patisserie.

The morning bun ($5) is a playful topknot spiral dusted with sugar. It’s crisp all around with a hidden thin ribbon of delightful cinnamon inside.

I’m not quite sure how the breakfast cookie ($2.50) got its name, but this plain treat decorated with a powdered-sugar star design surely would go nicely with a cup of tea or coffee. It’s crisp at the very edge and soft throughout with the homespun taste of an animal cracker.

The breakfast cookie (front), and custard-filled brioche (back).
The breakfast cookie (front), and custard-filled brioche (back).

My favorite was the brioche ($6), a puffy round showered in sugar and as yeasty yielding as a doughnut. Take a bite and discover a load of spoonable custard flecked liberally with vanilla bean seeds. I almost didn’t share this one with my husband, as that’s how incredible it was.

The next time you’re in Petaluma, it pays to get there, well, pronto.

Also Worth Visiting in Petaluma: Della Fattoria

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  • Wow, you had me at pastries! These all look sublime, and their display case is beautifully arranged. Unfortunately I rarely go to Petaluma, but maybe this is an excuse to make a trip…

  • Hi Joanna: For sure it’s worth a trip! In fact, if you go to Petaluma, you definitely need to stop not only at Stellina Pronto, but at Della Fattoria for outstanding breads, Table Culture Provisions for dinner, and Petaluma Pie Company for mini and full-sized fruit and cream pies. šŸ˜‰

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