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Stella

I am coming to New Orleans and will be dining out with my husband and 21 year old son. I have never tried Stella and am wondering if it will fit the bill for my son. The sample menu looks good but what's the atmosphere like? Is the seating indoors? Can we dress somewhat casually (ie. jeans and a dress shirt?) Other resaurants he has enjoyed include Cuvee, GW Fins, Delmonico, NOLA, Table One, etc. He is not a picky eater---but won't opt for foie gras, duck or rabbit either. Any thoughts on Stella or other suggestions? Thank you in advance!

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    1. Stella is a more refined restaurant than most in the city. There is probably something a little out of the oridinary in just about every dish. I love it, but I am an adventrous eater. The seating is indoors, it has a little rustic country feel to it (plaid seats, brick walls). I don't know if I'd wear jeans to go eat there, they do state "proper attire required". I'd probably forgo Stella this time around and maybe try August or Herbsaint.

      3 Replies
      1. re: malenky

        I would have thought (by my recall of its appearance) that August was even more formal than Stella. Am I wrong on that? Thus far, We've booked Stella (they said that jeans were ok for my son), GW Fins, and Table One (He's been there and want s us to try it). Can still change plans though.....How does Stella! compare to August? I know we will want to walk around the FQ after dinner and hate to be overdressed for the rest of the night but still want a great dining experience.

        1. re: Debbie

          Go to Stella! It is one of the best restaurants in the City, and no where near as pretentious as the previous poster intimated. Kinda Cuvee-like, but in the Quarter, and a tad more Laura Ashley-ish

          As a side note, as has been mentioned elsewhere on this board, it is not typically New Orlinean fare (although the setting is lovely). Nice Jeans are fine, and you will have a great meal.

          1. re: paz5559

            I was actually referring to the food more so than the attire or atmosphere. The food is very pretentious and very "advanced" for someone that is not open to it. For example, there are several dishes that have edible leaves on them that I believe really add to the dish but most wouldn't dare eat. If he is willing to try new things than Stella! would be great. I believe August's food is more clean. I love both places, although I tend to like August a bit more and think the flavor's are more exciting. I was a bit disappointed in Stella!; the food just didn't sing to me as much. I think the dress would be about equal at both places. Let me know if you need to know of any causal places to eat...to me that is where the best food is to be had.

      2. Are you trying to stay close to the Quarter? If you don't mind venturing out, consider Dick & Jenny's for great, casual dining. Another option, and one that I would have loved when I was 21 (and still do at 43), is Coop's, a total dive bar in the Quarter that serves great food (but would never be confused with fine dining).

        4 Replies
        1. re: Blumie

          I am beginning to think we should stay away from Stella because it may just be a bit too adventerous for a young and somewhat simple eater. However, I did call and they said they would permit jeans and a dress shirt ---fyi....I will try August when I am alone with my husband......Thus far, I have booked Table One, Cuvee, and GW Fins. We do want to eat outside the French Quarter one night but then stay there for Fri and Sat nights. Malenky, any casual recs you can suggest would be great! We come to NO frequently and already have plans to return in Oct. and Nov. Thanks for the info chowhounders---you're the best!

          1. re: Debbie

            I think you have made a wise decision on Stella! Great place and not
            inexpensive, not for an uneducated palate. Have fun somewhere else.

            1. re: Tonto

              I don't think Stella is any more "sophisticated" than Cuvee

              Outside of the Quarter, go to Iris, Ralph's, Dick and Jenny's, or Jaques-Imo's

            2. re: Debbie

              Table One is great. I've been for both lunch and dinner and have never been disappointed. I also really like GW Fins. For more casual places, try Franky and Johnny's (uptown, and must get the bell pepper rings), Liuzza's on Bienville, Savvy Gourmet (great lunch), Surrey's (breakfast with mexican and cajun dishes), Cooter Brown's (bar food), Fuel (uptown on Hampson, great sandwiches and salads and cookies), Hana (uptown on Hampson, sushi, try the baked salmon roll), Parasol's (roast beef po-boy), hmmm... all I can think of for now...Enjoy your upcoming visit!!! Remember it is extremely hot right now.

          2. I had such a bad experience at Stella! that I will never go back. (Especially after writing what I thought was a polite letter to management to let them know how disappointed we were and being told that there was nothing wrong with our food, and we were in the wrong!).

            I'd suggest places like Lilette, Couchon, Herbsaint, Upperline, etc., etc.

            Jason

            10 Replies
            1. re: zin1953

              I completed the 7 course tasting at Stella two Saturdays ago. The service was impecible as was the food. I did the wine pairing and except for one of the pairings, i thought that they were all good choices. IMHO Stella's atmosphere seems to be more laid back and informal than August, but with very polished service. The waiters wear serving gloves to bring you sliverwear, have the correct glass type for whichever wine you are drinking, bring you the correct silverwear for each course, etc. They have a lot of personal touches, and the chef even stopped by my table twice to see how my meal was going. On the food front, I loved everything they made. However, it is a place where everything that is placed on your plate is there for a reason. Garnish is not simply to be thrown aside, it is truly garnish in the sense that it is the finishing touch on your dish. You have to be fairly adventerous IMHO to eat at Stella.

              However, I would say the same thing for August. Being somewhat adventerous at August is a must as well. You aren't going to just find a grilled steak and a baked potato on the menu, it will definitly have some sort of twist to the dish that is unexpected. I've always enjoyed this, because if I just wanted a steak and a baked potato, i would make it at home :)

              1. re: stockboy85

                I'm not sure why this post is directed at me -- could you explain?

                FWIW, no one wore gloves to bring me a spoon or serve my food; no one changed wine glasses; and whoever said I wanted a steak & baked potato? (I'm confused.)

                1. re: zin1953

                  I got the gloves and found them a bit hokey ... I thought there was too much emphasis on the silverware, and not enough on the personal interaction and discussion of the menu. Hey, different strokes ...

                  1. re: foiegras

                    Yeah, I'd find the gloves a bit hokey, too . . .

                    1. re: foiegras

                      I actually found the glove thing to be a nice touch, kind of like when you go to Delmonico and they bring you black linen if you are wearing dark pants. It is a detail thing so that your silverwear isn't all fingerprinted/smudged up. I actually found the personal interaction nice. Every course was explained and the chef actually delievered two of my courses to the table and inquired about the food. But I guess everybody's experience is different.

                      1. re: stockboy85

                        >>> But I guess everybody's experience is different. <<<

                        How true!

                        In the FWIW Dept., I've had service with the waiters wearing gloves, etc., but it was in a much more formal dining room than at Stella!, which is no more formal to my mind than Bayona, and less formal (in its way) than Galatoire's (with their tuxedoed waitstaff) or August (with its more elegant decor), let alone places like Gary Danko, Masa's, etc. It's that "gulf" between the "casually elegant" room and the "white-gloved waitstaff" that -- to me -- is a non sequitur.

                        There have been plenty of times when I've had dishes explained to me and/or had the chef personally serve me and/or come by the table. None of that has ever happened to me at Stella!, however . . . .

                        C'est la vie . . .

                        1. re: stockboy85

                          I view the black napkins as a downright necessity ... don't understand why every decent restaurant doesn't have them ;) I sure do hate getting up from the table covered in napkin lint ...

                          1. re: foiegras

                            it really only matters to me when I have somewhere to go after dinner - the theatre, a party, etc. Othertime, I say, whatever.

                      2. re: zin1953

                        No, I'm sorry, my comments weren't directed to you, they were directed to Debbie and Malenky. I still haven't gotten used to the way this website threads conversations - I'm used to a different forum format and sometimes forget to hit the reply button for the actual comment I'm refering back on, not just hit any reply button.

                    2. re: zin1953

                      Wow Jason that is mind blowing. I had an amazing meal there two days ago!!