In the weeks leading up to Stella opening on Clarence street in the market, it was hyped as the new italian place to be. They dont take reservations however, so when we went for dinner at 730, we didnt get a table until 830. Then we were seated on the patio, so didnt get the benefit of the full menu. Actually only about a third of it is served outside.
On to the food, for appetizer I ate what they call risotto fritters, which in Italian are Arancini. This started a night of dissapointments, since I could not tell it was risotto inside the deep fried fritters, and they were a little over done. My friend had another appetizer which was listed under salads, but was actually a flatbread type pizza.
Mains took another 1/2 hour to come out, and while we were waiting we overheard the table next to us discussing the long wait for the meal with the manager. My friend had ordered a 8 oz centre cut filet mignon topped with gorgonzola, with a side of fries. When he recieved it, it wasnt a centre cut, there was no gorgonzola, and the fries were soggy. It was sent back, and the second one came out much better, although the fries were still soggy. My pasta was passable, except for two things. One, the noodles were overcooked, and two, I had a second type of noodle from one of the other dishes mixed in with it.
On a plus note, the bread basket was not bad, and the use of rosemary in the foccaccia, as well as in the olive oil and balsamic dipping plate was exceptional. At $4 for a coffee, I saved my money; and I am still looking for real Italian food in Ottawa.