As a student I never was late in completing assignments, which makes me wonder how I could be so delayed in writing a review of Stella Blu. My husband and I first dined there within a day or two of it opening in October 2008. We loved our drinks and food. We have returned numerous times, but it wasn’t until last Friday night that it occurred to me: I hadn’t written a review. This was a huge error on my behalf, but one which I now am correcting. To summarize our dining experiences in a few words: Stella Blu is a win-win-win situation.
Win #1- The Beverages
With a team of Jared and Joey (among others) behind the bar, you are certain to receive a delicious hand-crafted cocktail. Not only do they create unique and tasty drinks, they make sure that they look beautiful also, though never too beautiful to drink! Don’t see exactly what you’re seeking on the drink list? Tell them what you want, even if it is just a certain flavor, and they can make it. In addition to this, they have an extensive list of wines and beers. Your thirst will be quenched.
On our most recent visit to Stella Blu, we spent a couple hours there and were able to enjoy two drinks each. My first drink was the Cristalino, a delicious pear-flavored cocktail served in a flute and topped with champagne. My second drink was a raspberry martini (its name escapes me) that had crushed Pop Rocks on the rim of the martini glass- quite fun and flavorful. My husband’s first cocktail was a Kiwi Strawberry Lime Rickey. The fruit flavors were refreshing without being overly sweet, a nice first choice. His second cocktail was the Hat Trick, which included cognac and scotch. Served in a low-ball glass on the rocks, it was a great drink for my cognac lover.
Win #2- The Food
When you order five dishes, and each one is a delight to all of your senses, you know that you are in the presence of a great chef. As all of the dishes are small plates, it is a good idea to order a few if this will be your dinner. If you’re dining with a very hungry husband, it is a good idea to order more than a few, say five or so. While I don’t have that appetite, I made sure that I had at least a couple bites of each dish.
With the menu divided into regions, we decided to order one dish from each region except the Farmer’s Market, as we had eaten salads for lunch. This allowed us to sample a variety of flavors from this amazing menu. Our first dish to arrive was from the Asia Town section, the Duck Rangoons. Filled with duck confit and served with grilled pineapple salsa and a sweet chili-soy reduction, these could be equated to little packages of food heaven. Crispy on the outside and an explosion of flavors on the inside, it was a great start. Fish Tacos, our second dish of the evening was from The Latin Quarter. A warmed tortilla filled with hot, crispy coated fish, crunchy lettuce, fresh tomato, and a drizzle of spicy mayo, it was the perfect example of how good a fish taco can be. Dish three came from Main Street, USA– Beer Braised Beef Short Rib, which was served on a bed of silky cauliflower parsnip puree. The beef was a melt in your mouth adventure that had a rich beef flavor. Moving on to Little Italy, we had an order of Eggplant Rollatini. What’s not to love about breaded eggplant that is wrapped around fresh ricotta and parmesan and topped with house marinara and mozzarella? The marinara had a vibrant tomato flavor that accented the dish nicely, as did the creamy cheese both inside and atop the eggplant.
Although I was nearly full, my husband decided a fifth course would be a nice crowning touch and ordered the Grilled Flatbread Pizza (also from Little Italy). There were two choices for pizza that night, and my husband opted for the BLT. I have to admit I had only a few bites of the pizza, but I enjoyed them. And seeing that my husband ate the rest, my decision must been correct! Served on a perfectly thin, crisp crust it was topped with a respectable amount of cheese, nicely sized pieces of bacon, and diced tomatoes. Atop these items were shredded lettuce and a drizzle of the spicy mayo. Yum!
Win #3- The Service
If you’ve been fortunate enough to eat fabulous food and savor delicious drinks, you already are having a terrific meal. However, excellent service makes the night complete, and our nights at Stella Blu always have provided that. With multiple bartenders working during busy times, you never have to wait for a cocktail. In addition, the waitstaff is prompt in delivering food, clearing dishes, checking on water glasses, etc. You feel well cared for when you dine at Stella Blu but never pestered.
With my homework assignment complete, it would be wise of you to assign yourself to enjoy an evening at Stella Blu.