Monday, April 20, 2009

Stella's Restaurant and Bar (Perrysburg, OH)


In the heart of Historic Perrysburg lies Stella's Restaurant and Bar. One evening, three of my friends and I found ourselves here for a much needed celebration -- a birthday amongst other things. I personally found the layout to this restaurant quite charming: bar on the first floor and dining area on the second adorned with Dale Chihuly works. The redness of the dining area also lended a homey atmosphere that would make this a great place to eat on a cold winter day. Once seated, we were greeted by our server, who seemed rather brusque at first but let her guard down and was more conversational as the evening progressed.

Warm bread and butter were brought to our table upon placing our orders. While the butter tasted rather generic, the sourdough bread was moist while maintaining its crispiness and chewiness. Needless to say, the bread basket was gone faster than the time it took for my appetizer to arrive.

For starters, I had the Baked Brie en Croute ($9.95) For its price tag and the presentation seen above, I found it to be rather steep. While I didn't care too much for the fruit medley, the brie was baked to perfection and wrapped with just the right amount of flakiness. Warm and gooey, it hit the spot in an instant. My friend who went for the fruits claimed them to be quite the disappointment and would have wanted to see more berries on the plates since berry season is upon us afterall.

While the menu was rather enticing, I found myself settling with the Beef Tournedos Stella ($16.95) for my main entree along with the split pea soup -- a good choice not only for the fall/winter time but also for the cold Ohio spring days -- as it came out piping hot. Smooth in texture and rich in taste, croutons would have added an extra 'oomph' to this soup.

As for the entree itself, ordering the meat prepared well was a mistake, since I spent more time trying to cut the meat in such a way that I wouldn't be sending it flying across the table than I did eating it. The 'rich demi-glace' (aka brown veal sauce) was a-okay; in retrospect, I was expecting more hints of red wine and brandy rather than simply the brown veal sauce. The whipped potatoes was also a smidge disappointing, since it lacked the fluffiness (and taste overall.) The same holds true for the accompanying roasted vegetables; in fact, the dish would have been much better had they eliminated the vegetables completely.

To end on a sweet note, I went with the chocolate cake ($6.95) for my dessert. What was described (since Stella's doesn't have a dessert menu) sounded absolutely divine -- i.e. six or so types of chocolate cake. The other dessert options, i.e. New York Cheesecake and Tiramisu, didn't particularly stand out. Rich without being overly sweet, each bite of the chocolate cake with a dollop of the fresh whipped cream proved to be a bite of heaven.

What did my friend walk away with for his (early) birthday? A Dale Chihuly paper weight!

While I wouldn't necessarily call my dining experience at Stella's stellar, it wasn't an unsatisfactory one either. There clearly were some hits and some misses, and in the end, it just seems as though they balanced each other out to the point where I would say that it has been a-okay overall. That's not to say that I won't venture back in the near future, however. Stella's distinctive features and its quaint location -- not to mention the option of outdoor dining -- may actually send me back when (and if) the warmer weather comes.

Rating: ***

Stella's Restaurant and Bar
104 Louisiana Ave
Perrysburg, OH 43551
(419) 873-8360

Stella's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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