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Stella?

h
Hoc Oct 14, 2013 12:54 PM

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?

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  1. Monch RE: Hoc Oct 14, 2013 01:00 PM

    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. j
      JazzyB RE: Hoc Oct 14, 2013 04:16 PM

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

      1. k
        kibbles RE: Hoc Oct 14, 2013 04:20 PM

        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
          h
          hazelhurst RE: kibbles Oct 15, 2013 07:35 AM

          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
            Bill Hunt RE: hazelhurst Oct 15, 2013 07:07 PM

            <<"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
            Bill Hunt RE: kibbles Oct 15, 2013 07:04 PM

            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. girloftheworld RE: Hoc Oct 15, 2013 07:15 PM

            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. a
              Ambiance RE: Hoc Oct 20, 2013 06:16 AM

              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
                k
                kibbles RE: Ambiance Oct 23, 2013 09:00 PM

                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
                  Bill Hunt RE: kibbles Oct 24, 2013 08:12 PM

                  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

              2. p
                prestose RE: Hoc Oct 20, 2013 09:35 AM

                When I see a reference to Stella!, I remember my husband's comment on our visit: "How many adjectives does it require to describe a piece of salmon??" We always stay at the Provincial where Stella! is located, so I look at the menu and think about going again. However, there are so many more wonderful choices in New Orleans than this one.

                2 Replies
                1. re: prestose
                  k
                  kibbles RE: prestose Oct 23, 2013 09:04 PM

                  I'd be hard pressed to agree. There are many restaurants in New Orleans, and many types of eateries. Stella is unequivocally fine dining -- and if one is seeking that category, it excels. If one seeking other categories, there are better fitting options for those. But not fitting into another eatery's type doesn't make it a poor choice.

                  1. re: prestose
                    Bill Hunt RE: prestose Oct 24, 2013 08:14 PM

                    When we have dined there, the "adjectives" have come from us.

                    Now, there IS a new menu, that we have not experienced, so my frame of reference goes back a bit. Still, we have had nothing but great meals, and service there.

                    Hunt

                  2. r
                    RedStickChickenMan RE: Hoc Oct 22, 2013 11:32 AM

                    Had one of the top meals of my life at Stella! but that was back in '06

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