Boston’s South End has many many fabulous places to eat and drink, one of them being Stella. Located at the corner of Washington St. and West Brookline St., its outdoor patio overlooks a lovely city green space full of adorable dogs and their walkers. Its sleek interior is comfortable and offers the perfect level of noise so that you can hear your cocktail companions but that isn’t so quiet that it feels stuffy.
The menu features a great collection of cocktails including the Aperol Spritzer which is a mix of Aperol, a slightly bitter orange-y Italian liquer,Zonin prosecco, and seltzer water . I love Aperol and until now have only had it the two times that I have been to Italy. I have fond memories of long ago drinking Aperol on ice in an open air cafe in Venice. . . sigh
I was glad that I chose this drink. It was fruity without being too sweet, bubbly, and refreshing. The hubs chose a glass of lovely Bottega Vinala Pinot Noir.
While we were waiting for our food to arrive, we were each served a piece of fresh, hot focaccia bread. I ate half, and I saved the other half because we ordered mussels, and I knew I needed to sop up the broth with the bread. Way to be prepared!
As usual, we decided to share a few appetizers for our meals. We ordered the Spicy Mussels / saffron cream / roasted peppers / white wine / garlic for $11, the Parmesan Arancini / buffalo mozzarella / spicy pomodoro fondue for 9 and the appetizer special, figs / prosciutto / gorgonzola dolce / honey / balsamic vinegar.
I didn’t actually expect to get dinner so I didn’t have my camera. All I have are Blackberry photos, and some of them, like the photos of the figs and mussels didn’t come out. The mussels were in a gorgeous yellow saffron sauce dotted with red, green, and yellow bell peppers and served with grilled bread on the side. I still needed the bread I saved earlier. I think my favorite part of eating mussels is eating whatever sauce or broth they are cooked in! I have had the arancini at Stella before, and they were once again perfection. The size of baseballs, they are fried crispy and golden oozing with soft, warm rice, and a gooey buffalo mozzarella surprise in the middle. Nestled in a bowl of intensely rich and robust tomato sauce, these arancini could really be a meal in themselves.
The star of the evening was of course the fig dish. What do you get when you combine roasted figs with crumbled gorgonzola dolce, honey, and reduced balsamic vinegar? Heaven! I only had a bite of the prosciutto with this, but the saltiness worked perfectly with the caramelized figs, creamy cheese, and vinegar/honey sauce. This is a meal I would definitely like to recreate at home. By the time we at these three dishes, we were perfectly full. I love small portions of lots of different things.
The service at Stella was great, and on each chair outside, they offered soft, cozy fleece blankets. I needed it by the time the sun started going down. If you live in or are visiting Boston, I would definitely recommend Stella for after work drinks and eats. I did another 110 minute run tonight with a major hill workout 3/4 of the way through, which had my heart pounding and my legs shaking. It felt GREAT! After a nice shower with my new Good Health Natural Products French milled lavender soap, which smells amazing(!) I am ready for some America’s Next Top Model and travel dreaming/planning. My brother in law invited us over to Italy the week of October 4 to help them harvest the grapes for their wine. . . and I would love to make it happen! If we can’t do that I would still really like to go to San Francisco for the Food Buzz Festival plus a few extra days in Napa. I’ll keep you posted!
Working from home on Thursday, so I get to sleep in about a half an hour. Fabulous!
Have a great night everyone!