Stella has been on my places to go list ever since I went to the Sweet Basil cooking class and Dave Becker, Chef/Owner (and creator of my favorite Bolognese) told me that his favorite Bolognese was served at Stella. We were there on a very busy Friday night with R’s parents (Happy Mother’s Day, Lenore!) and had a really delicious meal. We started with an order of the parmesan arancini and they were excellent; huge balls of cheesy rice encased in a crispy outer shell, with a bright tomato sauce for dipping. The fried artichoke hearts were also great. On to the raison d’être, the Bolognese, I loved it. The pasta was perfectly cooked, the sauce was robust, tender and meaty. It was a huge serving; enough for my dinner, samples for everyone and lunch the next day. Sweet Basil may need to make room on the Bolognese throne. I think I need to go to Sweet Basil and re-compare.
R’s four mushroom pizza was really more of a flatbread, but the thin crispy crust is exactly how I like my pizza. R likes crust with more chew, so I think I liked it more than him.
Skip ordered the spaghetti and meatballs, despite the fact I told him that people had reviewed them negatively. It was an okay dish; Lenore did not like the meatballs. She had the roast chicken, which I did not try. I did try the polenta cake that came with it and it was good. She complained of the portion size (breast, wing), which I thought was fine.
We all shared the chocolate torta, warm pecan pie and the lemon meringue cake (special) for dessert. I was really impressed with all three and liked them equally. The bread was a decent foccacia served with a white bean spread.
I really enjoyed our meal at Stella, especially the Bolognese, but I do have to complain about the noise level. The acoustics in the room were out-of-control loud - and we weren’t even in the room with the bar! We had a really difficult time having a normal dinner conversation and had to either shout, or repeat ourselves multiple times. When we got outside, R stated that his ears were ringing. I think we will definitely be back, but will aim for sitting outside, or a less popular time.