Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stellina Pasta Cafe Birthday Dinner


I feel pretty lucky that I got to celebrate a friend’s birthday since this year it included a five course dinner at Stellina Pasta Café. As my second tasting, I still have yet to order off of the menu. Hehe But one of the advantages is that everything I have tasted from Stellina, has been fantastic. So I’d pretty much recommend everything at this point…

 While we waited for everyone to arrive, we started out with homemade Hummus with Olives and Peppers, served with pita bread. Both black and green olives were represented and it was fun to make sandwiches out of the ingredients.

Finally, everyone arrived so we could start our first course. I really shouldn’t criticize the latecomers too much since they brought 15+ bottles of wine along with their very own Riedel glasses. My favorites were the bubbles and the white wines but the red wines did go best with the heavy pasta, chicken, and lamb.

Anyway, we started off with Sea Scallops with Pea Purée, which is one of my favorite seafood items, and came with Pancetta and Tempura Asparagus on the side. Although, the chef was kind enough to remove the pancetta from my plate! YES! I was nervous that my scallops would taste like peas but the sauce had a real mild flavor and if anything, it helped make the scallops less fishy. And the tempura batter really helps to take the strong flavor out of the asparagus. The greens were so pretty for spring!

One of my favorite courses was the Whole Wheat Pasta with Wild Mushroom served with slices of hardened parmesan (I think). I had heard about Chef Jamey’s homemade pasta and I was thrilled to finally get to try it. I was really impressed with the light sauce and mushroom flavors that were able to improve the taste of whole wheat pasta. I loved the long, thick noodles…this would be perfect as a warm, comfort food in the middle of winter for sure.

Next up was a Pork Belly over Creamy Polenta and Mustard Sauce although once again, Chef Jamey was kind enough to spare me and served mine with chicken instead. The most interesting thing about this dish was the three different textures…the firm edges of my chicken, in a soft polenta, and then a crispy stalk of the vegetable. I enjoyed dipping every bite into the polenta to mix the flavors together!

The last course by far was my favorite, Grilled Lamb with Saffron Risotto drizzled with Demi Glace. The lamb was cooked perfectly, with it almost complete pink and tender. I actually don’t remember much about the risotto because I was so busy trying to get every little bite of meat off the bone. I guess it’s proper to pick up the lamb by the bone? My neighbors didn’t want to leave any meat behind any more than I did!

By special request, my birthday friend requested Tres Leches cake but it actually was made with four milks instead! I had never seen anything like this before since it was a sponge cake that had soaked up all the milk inside of it so every bite was very moist. If you know me, all that was missing was the chocolate sauce to drown the cake a little more. Hehe

I still hope to get back to Stellina to try a few things off of their menu as well…

Resources:

Stellina Pasta Café = http://www.stellinapasta.com/