I had previously posted about the brunch we had at Stella’s a month ago… I was happy with my dish, but not “wowed”. I thought there must be something more to it that we were missing given all the rave reviews folks have posted elsewhere. So, on a late Friday evening, after not being able to get a table at the Libra Room or at the fancy Italian place with the crazy pizza oven, we found ourselves at Stella’s again.
I’ve been enjoying Hefeweizen beer a lot of late, so I decided to splurge on a Paulaner from Germany ($9). Served at the perfect temperature and in its own branded glass, this was a lovely way to start off my meal.
I got it into my head that this was going to be a luxurious meal – so, I continued to treat myself by choosing their Belgian Poutine ($9).
I knew I could count on a Belgian restaurant to do a good job of the fries – and they did – crispy yet still fluffy inside, they were clearly double-fried. The “Blanche de Chambly & miso” gravy was surprisingly good, not too odd-tasting to throw off the traditional expectations of poutine. As for the cheese curds, I was surprised that the put this under the salamander to brown, but I liked it still. The curds still were distinct from one another (not the horrible grated cheese blob I often experienced in Alberta!) and the green onion added just a little fresh green flavour to it all. Excellent.
While Chris had a beer too, and a dish of fish & chips as his main ($15) (which he enjoyed alot, especially the “minted pea shooter”), I didn’t get to try any of it – instead, I focused on our last dish, to share, the Normande Moules (about $15 – $18, can’t recall – the website does not have the right prices anymore either). Piled high, there was not a single closed mussel – I appreciated the check-over the folks in the kitchen must have done. The broth was extremely fragrant with the brandy, mushrooms, bacon and cream, and the bits of apple must have added some sweetness, but nothing more, they were very subtle. We added a basket of excellent crusty, chewy bread for another $2.50, which allowed up to sop up as much of the broth as possible.
Service was excellent this particular evening, with lots of waiters checking on us when we waited for our table to be prepared, lots more trying to get the little cafe table to be stable, and others refiling water glasses and clearing dishes.
Tax and tip brought the total to around $60, which, given the quality of the food and the drinks we ordered, was a decent price for a very nice dinner out.
So, to sum up – while their brunch was okay, Stella’s hit it out of the park with dinner – very very well done!