Italian for ‘star’, Stella already has proven its star potential during a media preview of the newest addition to the Blue Star Arts Complex! Offering locally-sourced menu items (including some of my favorite local farmers, like Oak Hills Farm), the menu is a great, unpretentious option for those in the mood for sharing some great small plates and a couple slices of pizza. There are over 20 rotating taps showcasing the craft beers from across the nation from beer-tender Wendy, who doesn’t think we have to look far to find some great options. There’s an extensive wine list as well from an internationally curated wine list and those in the mood for a cocktail will surely feel refreshed from their list of beer-tails menu!
During the preview we got to sample one of everything and I didn’t find anything that I didn’t like. I thought the appetizers were very reasonably priced at $6-$9 with plenty to share with a group. The roasted cauliflower was highlighted with fennel and capers that were so delicious! Everything was served in little cast iron skillets that sizzled as they approached the table. My daughter ate most of the lamb meatballs which were also a big hit. The burratta, which is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, is housemade with local organic curd and is served with freshly toasted bread.
The pizza is equally impressive. I went with my husband and nine year old daughter and we all left with different favorites. I was torn between the “wild mushroom” with local cremini and portabella mushrooms (drizzled with truffle oil!) and the meatball that included the house made lamb meatballs, caramelized onions, and Gouda cheese. My daughter liked to the spicy house made Italian sausage and my husband could not stop talking about the Quattro which was a quadruple threat of gorgonzola, Parmigiano-Reggiano, ricotta, and house mozzarella topped with watercress and a drizzle of fig-balsamic reduction. I would say with appetizers, one pizza is definitely enough for two although if you wanted to try a couple we can attest that they’re still delicious reheated.
Dessert was a rich tiramisu and salted caramel panna cotta – both a little heavy when you’re eating one of everything. Still it finished the evening perfectly.
Executive Chef Roland mentioned 85-95% of the food and menu is locally sourced, San Antonio and Texas based, meaning the menu is going to change as the seasons do. The chef has a lot of family in San Antonio which is reason enough for coming back to the Alamo City, really down to earth guy, stop by and say hi while you’re eating, he’ll love it if you do.
Open from 4pm to midnight, it’s a chill place with plenty of parking (unless you go on First Friday) with reasonable prices and locally sourced tasty bites. We’ll definitely go back, my husband, an ex-Austinite is already excited. It’s between Halcyon and the galleries, so close it in fact shares the restroom with its sister (which offers a completely different experience.)