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See also: Blue Cactus · Luxe Bistro

Stella Osteria
Foods from Stella Osteria

2013 Jul 22
Date of Visit: July 7, 2013

I have passed by this place numerous times on forays through Byward Market but it has usually been full. I was actually on my way to have lunch at the Blue Cactus Bar and Grill (which is affiliated with this place), when I was drawn by the pleasant patio here. The lunch menu is rather abbreviated, consisting of a small number of appetizers and salads, some pasta selections, as well as pizza and a house burger, but there are also a few more substantial entrees including a strip-loin steak and Chicken Parmigiano. The dinner menu, which I asked to look at, was substantially the same, although there were a few additional seafood dishes, including an interesting paella. Fortunately, I was in the mood, on this very hot day, for something simple and the house burger sounded about right for lunch…

The 'House' Burger and fries ... Rating: 4 out of 5

I probably wouldn’t choose this place as somewhere to go for a ‘fine-dining’ sort of meal, but it is definitely a pleasant locale for drinks and a decent meal to round things out. It has a pleasant ambience and the service was very good. Rating: 4 out of 5.

See full pictorial review

2011 Oct 24
I've been debating for a few weeks as to whether I wanted to share my experience here.

Sadly, I cannot comment on the food as we never even made it to our seat.

We came in and were instructed to wait by the bar while they got our table ready which is normal procedure. The bartender was quite welcoming. We soon noticed that the only waitress that seemed to be working was rushing around apologizing to us for the wait (felt pretty bad for her), while the hostess waltzed around, placed a napkin here and then placed a glass there and not helping to clear dirty tables so that patrons (us!) could sit down. I'm not sure what she was doing other than being on display.

We asked 3 times about this and were told it wouldn't be long. The attitude of the hostess was quite distasteful. While waiting, we saw several staff members go out near the table (and once to even advise two people not to sit at our table) and not bother to clear it!

Eventually we left quite dissatisfied. We then went to Empire Grill where the welcome was warm.

2011 May 22
I was here for dinner yesterday with some friends.

The atmosphere is certainly posh enough; the restaurant is located in the heart of the market and there is a constant stream of people moving in and out. There is also a very nice roof top patio that would be fun to try out some time.

However, while the service was adequate, it was also very slow and infrequent - probably a consequence of being in the market at peak times.

We waited a long time for appetizers and bread. I ordered a mixed grill dish that I think was well designed but poorly executed. There were various interesting meats - quail, lamb, and pork, I think - but the lamb tenderloin was a bit too raw and gooey for my tastes.

In the end our bill exceeded $225, and I couldn't help but think that I could have a had a similar meal that was twice as good and half the price at a number of other restaurants around town. I don't think I'll be back.

2011 Apr 25
I have been here for many a dinner and loved each one. Great atmosphere, amazing food (salads rock, short rib pasta so yummy), decent pricing. That changes, however with brunch. Super limited menu (3 choices only! really?!), small plates, steep prices, horrible mimosas, rotten "fresh" fruit on my plate (without any compensation/care). I don't want to rant here, but highly disappointed. If you want to give Stella Osteria a whirl, save it for dinner. Go for brunch elsewhere.

2010 Dec 13
I have been here twice. Once was for a christmas party and once was for valentines day (which has a special menu)

Everything i've eaten at Stella has been amazing! Some of the most delicious food i've ever eaten has been here.

I'd highly recommend the short ribs!

2010 Nov 3
Great food! Great antipasto most of the time, but it can be a bit inconsistent. Would recommend it tho!

2010 Mar 17
$87 for two pitchers of watered-down sangria mix. If it was the real thing (wine, brandy, fruit, etc.) I wouldn't mind paying that but this was really low quality stuff and I was shocked when I saw the bill. Very nice interior and decent service but charging that price for a premade mix is really insulting.

2009 Aug 2
This is a stylish place and has pretty good food (as it should for the prices). I had a club sandwich for lunch and requested no tomatoes, but they were left on. I hate complaining to servers (I also work in a restaurant and have heard some ridiculous complaints) so I just picked the tomatoes off, no big deal. The server saw afterwards that they hadn't left the tomatoes off and refunded half the price!

2009 Jul 1
Ron Eade has a review of this place in his blog this week, with some really nice pics of the patio. Actually makes me want to go visit!

2008 Nov 14
I went to Stella's a little while ago for lunch and I was very impressed. I ordered and italian sausage and carmelized onion pizza, (not sure if that's the correct name) and a peach ginger dessert. The food was amazing, the atmosphere was lovely, the decor was very nice, especially the flower on each table. A couple near to us didn't seem very pleased with their meal though. If I were asked to rate my personal experience I would say I was VERY pleased.