Stella in New Orleans

Stella
1032 Chartres Street
New Orleans, LA 70116-3202

stella

I definitely recommend making a dinner reservation if you plan on coming. I called a few weeks in advance and didn’t get my first few choices of dinner night & time. And then when I finally did find a date and time that worked for my schedule, they asked for a credit card number and said that there is a $25 cancellation fee if the reservation is cancelled within 24 hours of the reservation. wow!

ambiance

I was very pleased with the service we received when we walked in the door. The hostess looked over my outfit and picked up a black cloth napkin and dropped the white one she was originally holding. Nice!  They even fold a new napkin and take away the used one if you get up to use the bathroom (my eating partner got up and left me at the table and so I watched this process unfold). The only bummer was when I asked for one more minute to look over the enormous a la carte menu (tasting menu was $150 per person!) and my waittress disappeared!! we even put down our menus and sat back in our chairs, with folded arms on our chest to show that we were ready to order and it seemed to take her a good while to come back to us.

amuse bouche

the amuse bouche was an asparagus panna cotta with Indian crispy flat bread. Joe and I were not huge fans. What really surprised me was how cold it was! Almost frozen! My tongue wasn’t ready for that shock.

caviar

Joe ordered the lobster, egg and caviar appetizer which was local North Shore Farm egg with caviar with Canadian lobster and North Star Paddlefish caviar. The caviar had a very seafood-y taste, but once Joe mixed everything around inside the egg shell, it tasted wonderful! especially since the lobster was heated, it gave it a nice taste and temperature!

asparagus

I had the asparagus and Canadian lobster with tomato confit, black olive tapenade, dijon vinaigrette, burgundy reduction, and 2 slices of Italian summer truffles. I was wondering about the Italian summer truffles because there was one appetizer that was just Italian summer truffles but it was $50! My salad was ok, nothing spectacular. Any time I tried to incorporate the black olive tapenade, it just overwhelmed the entire fork-ful and so I ended up avoiding that and enjoying the rest of the salad without it.

salmon

I was very surprised to see such a Pan-Asian menu. I’m always weary of when non-Asian chefs present Asian food because I have such a high standard for Asian food. Out of everything on the menu, this dish sounded the most impressive: Tandoori roasted Tasmanian King Salmon and Coconut Shrimp Basmati Fried rice with crisp vegetable rolls, Indian flatbread and Spicy mango cashew butter. Doesn’t that sound amazing? I guess I should’ve been skeptical when the waittress asked me if medium-rare was ok for my salmon. My jaw dropped. Really? medium rare salmon? I guess since I eat salmon sushi I should’ve been fine with this but for some reason I was really hesitant. With my first bite, I knew why. It was unbelievably mushy! No body or texture. Just mush. How unfortunate. The fried rice didn’t have much coconut flavor or shrimp in it. The crisp vegetable rolls tasted like something I could get at a Chinese restaurant down the street in the Quarter (came out with that pink-orange duck sauce!).

sea bass

Joe ordered the miso and sake glazed japanese Mero sea bass with udon, green tea, soba noodles, buna shimeji mushroom, canadian lobster, blue crab and shrimp broth. the sea bass was one of the best I’ve had, light and flaky. but the broth was flavorless. I think there was too much going on that no one taste shined through and so you just had a bland broth. Given that this was a soba noodle sort of sauce which usually doesn’t have much flavor, but still. I guess I just expected more from Stella’s chef.

desserts

since i was disappointed with my appetizer and my main entree, I didn’t want to risk getting a dessert and so we just asked for our check and it came out with this dish of complimentary desserts. I’ll say the watermelon marshmallow was the most creative (but bland) and my favorite is the 2nd to left, peanut butter chocolate truffle.

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