HOME > Chowhound > New Orleans >

Discussion

Stella?

  • h

I have reservations for Stella on Wednesday. But the more I look at it, the more it seems to be pretentious and overpriced. I would like to know some impressions you guys have of it before I go and spend a mortgage payment on food that just looks unusual, but doesn't blow me away in flavor. Is Stella worth the price?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. In 2007, my wife and I dined at Stella!....gotta get that punctuation in there!!!!!

    The food was very good, but not quintessential New Orleans...since you've seen the menu, you know that.

    We refer to the experience as "The Dance of the Silverware" because of the effusive attention to detail.

    We have simple, yet informed, tastes and our last trip (August of this year) was BRILLIANT....we went to places recommended by NOLA natives we chatted up.

    All that said, from the tone of your concerns, I would recommend making a different choice.

    1. Bingo! " The emperor's new clothes" is how I usually describe it. I haven't been back. Go to August instead.

      1. it's a high-end restaurant, fancy, sub-dued. it is expensive. i dont equate that w/ pretentiousness but if you do it may not work out for you. it's just a style of place that i occasionally enjoy, but not very often. ive enjoyed the food when there. the dessert grilled cheese sandwiches was one of our favorites.

        3 Replies
        1. re: kibbles

          I have not spent my own money in there--although I have tried to sample that line of country at WD50 a few times--but I think it serves a niche...at least, for the moment. To me it recalls my grandmother saying "for people who like that kind of thing, that's the kind of thing they like." I am no fan of oversized plates with a tiny portion of Jackson Pollack's sneeze on it but I know people who go crazy over it. One friend said her second dinner there was the most amazing meal she'd had in New Orleans in her 63 years.

          If one is accustomed to that show I gather it is considered to be among the best. I've never had anything bad and I can handle waiter wars with the best of them--or so I think. But for that money, I am going to be elsewhere. (I do wish they would rewrite the bio information. it reads like one of those historical novels where the hero meets EVERYONE from Napoleon to Metternich.)

          Such cooking always puts me in mind of The Onion's matchless headline when Jacques Derrida ceased-to-be:
          ---Jacques Derrida "Dies"---.

          1. re: hazelhurst

            <<"for people who like that kind of thing, that's the kind of thing they like.">>

            Hazelhurst,

            I think that your grandmother would enjoy dining with us, and we, with her! [Grin]

            Interesting that you invoke a quote from your grandmother, as several of my reviews of Stella! have typified the setting as being in line with an older relative's dining room - subdued, elegant, a tad formal, but still comforting - at least to us. Not for everyone, but always nice for us, along with great food and service (see comment above about a menu, that is new to us, and yet untested).

            Hunt

          2. re: kibbles

            I agree completely. We have found Stella! to be very warm, welcoming, with excellent service, and no fuss.

            HOWEVER, there IS a new menu (new to us), that we have not had the chance to try, so cannot comment on some recent changes.

            Also, we are probably into more "formal dining," than some are, so what might be wonderfully comfortable for us, might seem "stuffy" to others. Just differences in what one wants, is used to, or is accustomed to.

            Hunt

          3. I prefer August. many times over. Stella( punctuation omitted) ..too me lacked the charm and warmth of August.
            I found the food to be prepared to please people instead of this odd come and worship our food and partake of it as some sort of mystical ritual..

            1. Did you go? I hated it. Not the food but the atmosphere. No joy whatsoever. All diners sat there whispering because you felt like you were in church or a library and if you spoke up or laughed you would get in trouble.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Ambiance

                or, maybe some people enjoy quiet spaces where they can share and enjoy private conversation.

                I find most noisy restaurants and the people inside them terribly boorish. Different strokes, no?

                1. re: kibbles

                  Kibbles,

                  Noise in a restaurant will move them down several levels. I want to be able to speak, without shouting (and my voice can carry to the "cheap seats"), and hear my companion. I do not need a 125 dB noise floor, to tell me that I have arrived at a "happening place." Unfortunately, my form of "vibe" is quickly falling out of favor.

                  Recently, we had a lovely, quiet meal at EST, in Sydney. It was on the third floor, and when the elevator deposited us on G, and the doors opened, we thought that we had been deposited in a WWF "cage match." I wanted to try to get outside, via any other means, than their "bar scene." I have attended "rock festivals," that were lower in the dB level. We were afraid to exit the elevator!

                  Hunt