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Stella! or Restaurant August

robrob Mar 30, 2009 04:17 PM

I want to take my parents out for a nice dinner and also wanted to try something new. Which restaurant would be a better choice? I love Lilette, One, and Bistro Daisy but again, want to try something different.

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    ScarlettNola RE: robrob Mar 30, 2009 04:28 PM

    Stella is generally pretty good, but Restaurant August seems a little more consistent to me. Chef prepares a tasting menu with optional wine pairings that is out of this world. I have had a few iffy experiences at Stella but August has never failed to somehow wow me. Further my parents have been to both and prefer Restaurant August.

    1. Bill Hunt RE: robrob Mar 30, 2009 06:51 PM

      We had great meals at both. Between the two, I'd opt for Stella!, but that is based on the wines and wine service only. On a pure food basis, I'd easily mention them both in the same sentence.

      Now, there is a new sommelier, since our visit to August. Much work needed to be done to that program. Things might well have changed, and I'm hoping. ScarlettNola mentioned the wine pairings in a very positive way. That might well indicate that Chef Besh has addressed some of the issues that I had, though I'm sure it was not because of anything that I said. Still, if they have improved the wine service and pairings, they would approach perfect - at least from my limited experience with that restaurant.

      Tough call,


      1. i
        ironballs RE: robrob Apr 4, 2009 09:29 AM

        i think stella does a better job with their food, service may be a bit mechanical but it is timely and professional. not that august doesnt have talented folks, i just think most of them work in PR. there are alot more places in town now where you can have a nice meal without breaking the bank as well

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          robrob RE: robrob Apr 12, 2009 03:41 PM

          So... we went to August. I am not a fan of truffle oil and this seemed to be in EVERYTHING!!!! Beautiful decor and great service but wasn't wowed with the food. Good-but still stopped on the way home for dessert. Stella is next- minus the truffle oil.

          8 Replies
          1. re: robrob
            Clicquot RE: robrob Apr 12, 2009 08:42 PM

            I can't stand truffle oil and do not even want to sit at the same table with it. I would love to give my obscene decription of what it smells like, but it would get deleted. I think restaurants that use this to excess are a cop out for creative cooking.

            1. re: Clicquot
              robrob RE: Clicquot Apr 13, 2009 05:09 AM

              I agree with you. I am pretty sure you and I have the same "word" to describe the taste. Nothing else really captures it's essence .

              1. re: robrob
                ScarlettNola RE: robrob Apr 13, 2009 12:46 PM

                I have never had the truffle oil experience there, but it doesnt sound so pleasing to my palate. I love truffle oil w shaved truffles on gourmet macaroni and cheese, but tend to think it is overused. What were your entrees and/or appetizers that were liberally doused in oil so that I can avoid in the future. Thanks.

                1. re: ScarlettNola
                  robrob RE: ScarlettNola Apr 14, 2009 05:33 PM

                  The amuse bouche (so not our fault in ordering) was an egg shell filled with egg custard with- da da da dah- truffle oil! I seriously almost threw up. It was Easter weekend but it didn't look like a big hit at any table. The fiance ordered gnocchi which said it had truffle oil, so that was our fault. I did not know that I hated it so much. One of the fish entrees had the truffle oil too. The bread was unbelievable though. I love carbs! The appetizer salads were also very good.

                  1. re: robrob
                    ScarlettNola RE: robrob Apr 15, 2009 12:00 AM

                    Yuck! I like truffle oil....in moderation. It sounds like they used truffle oil to overcompensate for lack of taste perhaps? The Amuse Boche sounds revolting. I generally have had great experiences at August and have always highly recommended this restaurant to others. I hope this phase passes quickly as I have not had anything in the past that I did not love there and am very sorry your experiences did not rate the same. At least you were able to enjoy the salads hopefully sans the truffle oil dressing. (god I hope that is not a dressing they offer)

                    1. re: ScarlettNola
                      kibbles RE: ScarlettNola Apr 15, 2009 09:24 AM

                      i have had the amuse bouche (tho ours had a pinch of caviar), and really enjoyed it. the truffle oil did not come off as heavy handed at all.

                      1. re: kibbles
                        ScarlettNola RE: kibbles Apr 15, 2009 10:10 AM

                        Maybe it was a bad night and someone got a little crazy with the oil. Again, I have NEVER had a bad meal there, so was suprised to hear about robrobs bad experience. Everything has always been excellent.

                2. re: robrob
                  radman123 RE: robrob Apr 13, 2009 08:43 PM

                  synthetic smelling and tasting

            2. amanda3571 RE: robrob Apr 15, 2009 09:19 AM

              Having the same dilemna as robrob.....Stella or August, have the opportunity to dine at either one this weekend but can't make up our minds. We only have time for one fabulous dinner on Sat night. The truffle oil sounds like quite a turn off. Would so appreciate it if anyone else could weigh in.

              3 Replies
              1. re: amanda3571
                nikinik RE: amanda3571 Apr 15, 2009 10:04 AM

                I'd say go for the tasting menu at Stella!

                1. re: nikinik
                  amanda3571 RE: nikinik Apr 27, 2009 09:41 AM

                  I just wanted to report back and advise we did the tasting menu at Stella, and it was FABULOUS. The only thing I found off about dining there was that the food didn't match the decor. The food is fun and creative and very fusion, and the decor is like sitting in a southern formal living room. But I wasn't there for the decor. Thanks to all for a great recommendation. I do absolutely adore your city and can't wait to go back.

                  1. re: amanda3571
                    Bill Hunt RE: amanda3571 Apr 30, 2009 09:53 PM

                    I do agree with your comment on the decor and the menu. We really liked each, but I see your dicotomy there. Did not leave a negative impression though.

                    Considering that train of thought, I'd say that MiLa would be a better venue for the food of Stella! and that Stella! would be better suited for the fare from MiLa.

                    Though the architecture and the decor do figure into my reviews, I had never really separated these from the food. I will pay more attention to these next time.

                    Good point,


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