Stellina Bakery has taken over the longtime Cardinali Bakery in...

Stellina Bakery has taken over the longtime Cardinali Bakery in Syosset. Credit: Stellina Bakery

Bakery enthusiasts have likely noticed that Syosset’s beloved Cardinali Bakery has given way to a sleek, modern space imbued with soft teal banquettes, glossy white tables and light wood accents. Officially, it's now Stellina Bakery & Café.

Fret not; it’s the same kitchen staff using the same products to turn out Cardinali’s adored rainbow cookies and pastries. All cakes, including the popular chocolate mousse cake, live on. But now patrons see more savory menu items, from paninis to restaurant favorites such as meatballs ($10), arancini ($10) and lasagna ($20). Daily soup, salads, pizzas round out the menu.

Bakery chef Nicola Sabatino fusses over the panini case which includes varities both popular (prosciutto di Parma and mozzarella, $15) and niche (mortadella and burrata with pistachio pesto, $15). The Picante ($15) features spicy soppressatta and provolone on ciabatta. On the sweet side, a new “Stellina” cake debuts with three layers of vanilla sponge cake, vanilla custard filling and teal buttercream.

Manager Giulia Milana owns the space with her parents, Adriana and Tom Milana, and their chef/partner, Fabrizio Facchini of Stellina Ristorante in Oyster Bay. While it’s challenging to replace any longtime local spot, she stressed that the food, service, and quality people expect from Cardinali remains.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is we’ve owned Cardinali for the past two years,” she said. “The space needed a little bit of a change." The physical renovation and rebranding was completed in late September. Next comes updating the Cardinali outpost in Oyster Bay.

Stellina's name honors Floral Park mainstay Stella Ristorante, owned by Adriana Milana’s family for the past 62 years. And while Cardinali loyalists can be hard to convert, the pleasant chatter of diners sharing coffee and biscotti as they took in the new space on a recent afternoon nods to that embrace.

Stellina Bakery & Café,14 Cold Spring Rd., Syosset; 0pen from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, 516-496-2489, stellinabakery.com

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