Restaurants & Bars 2

Stella's (Vancouver, Belgian Gastropub, Pictures)

fmed | Apr 8, 200802:20 PM

Stella's is my neighborhood pub and regular haunt. Today, a couple of colleagues and I had a "business" lunch.... I love expense accounts.

Stella's (Commercial Dr and William St) has been a great addition to the Commercial Drive dining scene. They opened a few years ago in the spot formerly occupied by Santos Tapas. It has a lively atmosphere and the staff seems to be genuinely having fun while working....this makes a big difference. Stella's is often packed in the evening.

Stella's specializes in Belgian Beer and have the best selection in town (about 30 or so Belgian and Belgian-style beers on their menu). Their cocktail list is decent, but I would say that their mixologists are often not up to the task. (By all means order a cocktail - but this place is about Beer). They have a limited wine list.

I would describe their food menu as stylish "global" pub food - they have great small plate offerings - not "high-end" but certainly quite a number of notches above typical pub food. The value is excellent - small plates run about $5-7 per plate. They also have more traditional fare (burgers, BLTs, a selection of Moules Frites, etc.) that run around $12 per.

Today we ordered a bunch of small plates for sharing: Panko Calamari, Beef Carpaccio (with deep fried capers - great!), Thai Tamarind Prawns (huge), Poutine with Beer Gravy, Seared Ahi with Sesame, Beet Salad. For desert we had the Key Lime and Mango Cheesecake and Vanilla Creme Brule. We had a selection of Belgian and Belgian-inspired beer (from Unibroue - Quebec micro-brewery).

All of it was great. Excellent Value. (I often call Stella's "the working man's Chambar".) Their evening menu is more extensive and adds about 3 or 4 more items per section (they do a good Lamb, for example).


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