Saturday, July 07, 2012

Meze Ora

Be it weekday or weekend Stella's remains busy. A testament to great talent and to the RVA eating public. And even though reservations can be made via Open Table, we always seem to attempt to eat here on a whim. Each time we are eating early and there are only places at the bar or the communal table. We chose the bar.

Meze Ora

Arriving early (before 6 PM) is rewarding in itself due to Meze Ora. That golden time of the evening where small plate specials eagerly greet diners. These are truly small bite-size offerings and bring back the true concept of appetizers. We enjoyed the Prawns with Skordalia (a thick intense garlic sauce). The shrimp were large, plump, and meaty. Just the right bite while enjoying a cocktail before dinner.

Prawns and Skordalia

And speaking of cocktails, Stella's offers a plethora of Greek-influenced libations. Hubby was bold and ordered the Siga Siga (Slowly, Slowly), a concoction of ouzo, fresh basil, homemade syrup, and soda. He thoroughly enjoyed the strong anise flavor. This overwhelming and sweet drink definitely needs to be sipped not chugged.

Siga Siga

I took a more lofty approach with the Sophia: prosecco, aperol, and citrus. Very refreshing.


As Meze Ora melted into the evening, we turned our thoughts to dinner. Stella's only offers Greek wine. Kudos to them for doing this. Only a place with a great reputation (and the exquisitely tasty food to back it up) could take this leap. Since we do not know anything about Greek wine, it makes for a difficult choice. And the bottles listed were not the same as the bottles offered, which added to the confusion. We eventually settled on a Cabernet with some assistance from our bartender. Decent, but what we ordered the last time we thought was better.

Greek Cab

Dinner, as always, was divine. I ordered the old nostalgic standby - Stella's Filet, grilled with a sherry dijon crab cream. Yummy, yummy. Medium rare with nice chunks of crab (no skimping on the seafood aspect here). I loved this dish at the old Stella's and I love this dish now.

Filet with Sherry Dijon Crab Cream

Hubby enjoyed an equally satisfying dish (at least for him) - Pan Seared Salmon with spanakorizo (braised spinach and rice with olive oil and lemon).

Pan Seared Salmon

After dinner we were checking out the bottles at the bar and espied something we were not familiar with. When we inquired of our bartender he presented us with Skinos Mastiha and poured a wee bit for us to sample. The spirit is derived from the mastiha tree resin. The resin harvesting only takes place on the island of Chios. The spicy-sweet clear liquor was a revelation. Stella's uses it in cocktails, including a Greek sazerac, but it can be sipped after dinner as well. If you are into spirits and are up for trying new things, I highly recommend it.

One day we might plan ahead and make reservations to eat at an actual table at Stella's. In the meantime we will stop by on occasions to check out the bar and revel in the Greek-influenced deliciousness.

1 comment:

Lauren Sammon said...

I cannot even believe how delicious that steak looks... I really need to get out there and try Stella's, I've always heard such wonderful things!