October 22, 2014
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1032 Chartres St.
New Orleans, LA 70116
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Stella! Menu & Other Information
($28 and over for Dinner Entree)
Stella! Reviews (4)
Dinner @ Stella!
Outstanding atmosphere, service, food quality/preparation/taste. Expensive but worth every penny. Duck 5 ways, Tandori Salmon, Grilled Cheese dessert all outstanding. Highly recommend.
Went to Stella! for the first time last week. Here it is:
Service: while professional and efficient, the waitstaff was very stiff. almost to the point where it made me feel uncomfortable.
Atmosphere: Nothing special here. Our table for 2 was put right on top of a table for 6, making it rather loud and not very intimate. If you are looking to have a quite dinner, be sure to ask for a table with some level of privacy.
Food: For the most part, it was spectacular. The risotto appetizer was absolutely fantastic. Its a can't miss. I had the Duck 5 Ways and the girlfriend had the Shrimp and Scallops. Both were perfectly cooked, well presented and tasted amazing. The Bananas Foster French toast dessert was very good, while the grilled cheese dessert was way to salty, to the point where I could barely get it down. That was the only blemish, on an otherwise superb meal.
Stella! Long And Detailed Review From 2009
Since Stella! is probably the most expensive meal in NOLA, I wanted to provide as much detail as I can so someone can decide if it's worth the investment.
We were a little surprised that there were a few empty tables at 7:30 on a Saturday night - thankfully, they seated us promptly.
To me, it's a little strange that our waitress didn't ask if we'd like to see a wine list. The other people with me commented that it feels like way too much pressure when your waitress is standing right there, telling you what's available. Why not let people take their time to decide?
Two glasses of wine were $14 and $20...I wish I could remember specifics, but it wasn't anything fancy, I promise.
Stella! may be the only restaurant I've ever been to where they do not serve iced tea from the pitcher - I kid you not. I asked for "plain iced tea", and I was brought a bottle of Darjeeling for $6. Caveat emptor, iced tea people.
Appetizers we chose were the risotto with shrimp and mushroom, Asian chili prawns and the err... "asparagus lobster salad".
The risotto and Asian chili prawns tasted marvelous and were beautifully presented. The salad is a crock for $18 - it's basically asparagus with one small piece of lobster split into four. You could even tell that one of the pieces was lifted from the claw - which of course is cheaper for them (as opposed to the tail).
We couldn't believe that they never asked if we'd like any more bread. That's just inexcusable for something that's univerally praised as a top tier restaurant.
Entrees we ordered were the venison, rack of lamb, and beef tenderloin (I got the venison).
The venison was served rare and cooked sous vide (with apricot barbecue sauce - a really nice complement to the venison), so it was really cool to try something prepared this way. Super-soft, succulent, and strong. But...you got 8 pieces about the size of your thumb for $47. Maybe somebody out there can tell me if venison is a delicacy?
The beef tenderloin was melt in your mouth good - absolutely one of the finest I've ever tried. It was a pretty decent amount as well. The rack of lamb is served two ways - as a ribeye and with the bone sticking out. Both had distinctly different tastes and both were excellent.
We probably screwed up getting the dessert tasting - it's just too much unless you eat a light dinner and go there specifically for dessert. But it was amazing for sure. The ice creams we chose were chocolate banana, peach and a mango sorbet (they let you mix and match 3 if you get the dessert tasting).
For whatever reason, you get a wine list when looking at the dessert menu. If a restaurant's going to do this at dessert, why not at dinner?
The main thing that bothered us was that the staff is pretty robotic for the most part. They basically act like it's just another night with some folks having dinner. Yes, they function well, but it's way too clinical. I don't want Richard Simmons for a waiter, but a little bit of liveliness (or soul) would be nice!
We were also flabbergasted that no one ever asked us, "How is everything?" Never. If Texas Roadhouse can manage to do this, then so can Stella!. Or maybe they just think they're infallible at every level?
When you're spending about $110-$120 a head with only two glasses of wine consumed, Scott Boswell should realize that people want a night to remember - not just beautiful food. He's got the decor and the food down - but the human touch is sorely lacking.
One other slightly bizarre thing at the end - the waitress came up to the table and said, "Here's a birthday gift from Stella! (a fortune cookie)." Except...she didn't ask whose birthday it was. Nice thought, of course, but umm...??!
If your main concern is execution and presentation, Stella! may have no equal in New Orleans. If you want a fantastic all-around experience for the ultra-high prices, you may want to think about a few other choices, since our beloved city has so many of them.
very expensive but great restaurant over all. great place for a date!
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