Anyway, Z and I trudged through the snow the other night to Stella, as I had a crazy craving for a savory pasta dish. I’ve been to Stella a few times before, under much different circumstances each time. The first time was with my parents around when it first opened, as my mom had been given a gift certificate there. I remember thinking it was SO chic, so Sex and the City (back when it was still the best show ever, not an awkwardly drawn out movie series). I don’t remember what we ate (shocking! I know.) But I do remember that I was very excited that they featured a cocktail with my favorite beverage ever: Fresca.
The next time, I suggested it to my girlfriends, since I was psyched to show them I had found such a “hidden gem.” I remember I had the honey-glazed salmon that is still on the menu today. For me at the time, the $24 price tag was a lot of money (these were still my Cheesecake Factory days), and I didn't fall head over heels with the dish.
I returned with Z about 6 months ago, late one Friday night as he hadn’t eaten dinner, and it was one of the places I knew had a late night menu. We sat at the bar, as he enjoyed one of the yummiest pizzas I’ve had in awhile (I of course stole some bites). I marveled at all the attractive gay men who kept pouring into the beautiful space.
Sebastian and I returned a few weeks later, but this time, everything seemed a little blurrier, as I enjoyed a few of their delicious dirty martinis. The flamboyant bartender loved when I ordered them.
So back to my pasta dish from this past week. I got the linguini with asparagus cream, truffle, and a poached egg on top ($18). It was spectacularly rich, the exact dish you would want on a night when the snow will not stop falling. We sat at the bar, and the service was spot-on. Water glasses always filled, plates cleared, an attentive but not obnoxious bartender.
As this was an impromptu date night, I didn't have my camera, but here's a blurry photo of my pasta dish:
I swear it was more appetizing looking than this. Check out their website if you don't believe me. Anyway, here's Z's honey-glazed salmon with spaghetti squash:
And he started with some spicy mussels with saffron cream and roasted peppers ($12):
My conclusion about Stella? While it certainly has a fun bar scene, and that pasta dish hit the spot, there's something about it that keeps me from putting it in my "favorites" category. I can't put my finger on it, but while The Franklin makes me want to run around and tell everyone how amazing it is, Stella gets a, "Oh yeah, that place is pretty good," verdict. B+.