Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An 8-Course Tasting Menu at La Stella's

Dear Fellow Foodies,

A group of 9 of us embarked on a tasting dinner this past Monday evening at La Stella's in Boca Raton. Chef/Owner Jamie Barlow really outdid herself. The evening got off to a fabulous start with Course 1 - Escarole & Beans. The soup was superb. Now, if you are familiar with Escarole, you probably know that these greens can be quite bitter, but not in this soup. Jamie cooked them to perfection and the flavors were well balanced.

Our 2nd Course was Homemade Ciabatta Bread topped with yellow & red heirloom tomatoes, homemade fresh mozzarella & aged balsamic. Oh how the nooks and crannies in that bread soaked up all that wonderful juiciness that runneth over! This was a delicious combination!

Immediately following, was Course number 3 which paired amazingly well with the second Course. Set before us were beautiful plates of Antipasto - sliced to order Italian cold cuts, cheeses, olives, homemade roasted pepper & Italian Long Hots. Of course, while all this fantastic food was being served, we embibed in some of La Stella's wines from their extensive wine list.

Next up was the incredible Tagliatelle dish, comprised of Portobellos mushrooms, sweet peas, pancetta, Robiola cheese (which Jamie described as an Italian brie) and white truffle oil. OMG, was this ever so decadent. Just when you think you can't fit another bite in your mouth, Course number 5 appears before us.

This beautifully presented Grilled Trout was topped with Caponata (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, capers & black olives) and served with oven roasted potatoes.
Our Sixth Course was a Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak (which is not found on their regular menu, but makes the occasional appearance as one of the nightly specials.) The steak was seasoned and cooked to perfection and was served over a rich, creamy risotto.

Course 7 was a group favorite and of one person's in particular, whose eyes lit up when this big beautiful dish was placed before her. Taylor had been eyeing the menu prior to our tasting and when she spotted homemade Ricotta Gnocchi on the menu, she was determined to try it whether it was on our tasting menu or she had to order it on her own. Take a look at this Foodie's reaction as she took her first bite!

The final course arrived and by this point we were all completely stuffed, but of course, managed to shift our bellies and make room for more. What a foodie isn't willing to go through when confronted with good food! Course 8 was Pollo Scarpiello (bone-in roasted chicken, Italian sausage, fingerling potatoes, cherry peppers & fried peppers).

We all came away from the evening discovering what we feel is a true hidden treasure amongst the plethura of restaurants in town. Everyone had such a great time that there's talk about getting together again next month and doing it all again. (Maybe not so many courses the next go-around, however).
Until we eat again,
I send you delicious wishes XO,

La Stella's is open Monday through Saturday 5 - 10pm and is also available for Catering private parties. You can check out their website at or become a fan on facebook at

La Stellas is located at 159 E. Palmetto Park Rd. Boca Raton, FL 33432

Our Hostess with the Mostess, Chef/Owner of La Stella's - Jamie Barlow

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