The ribbon cutting ceremony at the new location of Stella, formerly Stella Alpina Osteria, in Burlingame. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Gomez Photography)
By Kate Bradshaw
An 18-year-old restaurant in Burlingame just got a makeover with a new location and a snappier name.
Stella, formerly Stella Alpina Osteria, recently moved to 1448 Burlingame Ave. from 401 Primrose Road, largely for more space – especially private dining space.
It took a year and $3 million, but the renovated restaurant, which is in the former location of Sixtos Cantina and Bit of England, reopened in mid-March. The space offers a large horseshoe-shaped bar, a wine bridge, six private dining areas and a covered and heated outdoor dining area.
Despite the new location, however, the menu underwent "minimal changes," according to owner Alisa Ferrari. Chef Matteo Ferrari's dishes continue to highlight Northern Italian cuisine. He is from a small village in the Italian Alps, Alisa Ferrari adds.
The restaurant changed locations and rebranded largely in order to expand and freshen things up, she notes.
"In short, we were at our Primrose location for 18 years, and it was time for a larger space and a make-over," she said in an email. "As we were pivoting through COVID, I knew that business as usual in our tiny little space was no longer feasible as guests like ample space between them and other diners."
Truffle-stuffed gnocchi with truffle butter and sage from Stella in Burlingame. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Gomez Photography)
They also developed a new logo and shortened the restaurant's name for simplicity. "After 18 years, a makeover was overdue," she said.
The new setup makes it easier to accommodate both business-oriented and local diners and streamlines takeout and delivery options, according to a statement from the restaurant. Business diners, particularly those in the pharmaceutical and tech industries, now have private spaces for presentations.
Regular diners, meanwhile, have space to visit with friends and family with "plenty of bar seating," Ferrari says.
Stella, 1448 Burlingame Ave., Burlingame; 650-347-5733, Instagram: @stella_burlingame.