Here is a restaurant that we have driven past countless times, and have never really thought about stopping in, and I have no idea why. We recently however received and e-mail from owner Lana Pinho, asking us to come in and review her restaurant, so why not! Her e-mails were very warm, and she sounds like a nice person, so I asked her via e-mail to make a reservation for us earlier in the week for tonight. Ms. Pinho had mentioned that she recently hired a new chef from New York City, so we figured we would give it a shot.
In doing my pre-visit research, I noticed that the menu at Stella's varies, and I would say that most of the menu is Italian, and a portion of the menu is Portuguese as well. She has a wide array of appetizers, salads, soups, pasta's, baked pasta's, chicken, steaks and chops, veal, and seafood. They also have a large selection of hot and cold sandwiches, wraps, pizza's, calzones, etc. The menu is quite large, and Stella's is BYOB, something we are always searching out.
We arrived just before our 7PM reservation, and took the last spot in the parking lot. The place was jam packed, and there were many people picking up takeout. When you first walk in the door, you notice the takeout section of the restaurant to the left, and walk into the dining room through the door on the right. We were greeted at the door by the very friendly staff, and I don’t know if this is a family run establishment or not, but the staff seemed very cute, and some of the sweetest older ladies were working. They were absolutely adorable.
We sat at a nice table in the window, and I immediately started to look around the restaurant. There was some nice dark woodwork around the restaurant, and the tables were covered with nice white linens, and vases with red and white flowers in them. Personally, I would go with a real flower opposed to the silk flowers, but that is just me. I grabbed our Riedel glasses from the carrying case, as well as a 2006 Tobin James Cabernet Sauvignon James Gang Reserve that we had brought along. Our server came over and introduced himself, and proceeded to open our wine for us.
In looking around the restaurant, it is hard to get a read on what they are really trying to accomplish here, as there seemed to be so many different elements. You have the takeout kitchen or staging area connected to where the host stand is. This has a counter where they have pizza’s by the slice, as well as some other items. In the back restaurant along the wall, they also have some buffet like stations pushed against the wall. Maybe these are for catering events in one of their other dining rooms, or for Sunday brunch. Regardless, it is a bit of an eyesore, and gives the restaurant a different, unfavorable identity. I would suggest moving them out of site, and storing them somewhere when they are not in use.
1414 North Route 130
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