For a new pizzeria opening in a competitive market, the same old round or square pies might not be enough to make a big splash. So why not look to the heavens for a little inspiration?

“We are made of star stuff,” astronomer Carl Sagan famously said in the 1980s. Moby, the avant-garde songwriter and musician, echoed that remark with his 2002 single, “We Are All Made of Stars.” At Mister O1 Extraordinary Pizza, owner/chef Renato Viola has shone brighter than most, thanks to a constellation of unique star-shaped pizzas that differentiate his fast-growing brand, which now has 12 locations in Florida, three in Texas and one in Riyahd, Saudi Arabia.

Viola’s pizza-making talents put him on top at two World Pizza Championship competitions in his native Italy, starting when he was just 18, and earned him passage to the U.S. with an O1 Visa, reserved for those with “extraordinary artistic ability” of international fame. Upon arriving in Miami, he opened the first Mister O1 restaurant there in 2014 and set about expanding the concept at a blazing speed.

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Viola’s specialty pizzas feature a delicate, thin crust made from a dough that’s proofed for at least 72 hours. Mister O1 offers traditional pizza options for the less adventurous, but it’s the founder’s star-shaped pies that jump off the menu—and draw social media fans by the tens of thousands (including more than 90,000 on Instagram alone).

For these pizzas, Viola tucks ricotta into pouches along the edges of his crusts, which are cut into eight points for a stellar effect. He offers four of them, including the original Star Luca (mozzarella, tomato sauce, spicy salami Calabrese and basil); the Star Michele (mozz, tomato sauce, spinach, zucchini and roasted red peppers); the Star Beckham (mozz, bacon, red onions, tomatoes, basil and ranch dressing); and the Star Carlos (mozz, chorizo sausage, tomatoes, arugula, avocado, Parmesan and a jalapeño sauce).

Even the round pizzas on Viola’s menu have that certain star quality, like the Anchovy Bottarga Giampaolo (tomato sauce, fresh burrata stracciatella, Peruvian anchovies, Italian fish roe and parsley). For the Ginger Lilliam, he combines burrata stracciatella with ginger and black pepper.

Writing for Orlando Weekly in January 2024, Faiyaz Kara marveled at the Coffee Paolo, perhaps the most singular pie on the Mister O1 menu. “Raw honey and a dusting of ground coffee go toe-to-toe with rich gorgonzola and spicy salami Calabrese,” Kara wrote. “Put a star-struck emoji next to this one, ‘cuz it’s out of this world.”

Food & Ingredients