Food for Thought – A Stellar Dining Experience at Stella

Restaurant Review

“On November 5th, a group of RCs ventured into the South End to experience First Friday, a monthly event featuring the galleries of various artists in the area. As I stared at the matted blue square hanging on the wall of a gallery in 450 Harrison Ave., I felt a sudden series of urges. Heeding its $50 thousand+ price tag, I resisted my first urge to test if the painting was actually a portal a la Super Mario 64. Fearing its apparent hallucinogenic effects, I resisted my second urge to stare at it for the rest of the night. I was thus left with one sole sensation-hunger. Unmistakable, undeniable hunger.

Luckily, the South End is full of gems within easy walking distance, and in 15 minutes, we arrived at the doors of Stella, a beautiful casual Italian restaurant complete with lounge area and bar.

Enter Stella
The environment was lively-the type of place where twelve HBS students did not have to worry about “”making a scene.”” We walked through the bar/lounge area, already full at 9pm, and were seated in the dining room immediately. The décor was modern and practical. Attention to detail was noticeable in the design and layout of the room-our oval-shaped table, sufficiently spaced away from other patrons, allowed easy conversation even with such a large group.

Dining Recommendations: The Crudo Misto, the Bistecca Tartare, and the Parmesan Arancini.

Discussion recommendations: Pros and cons of the metric system.

The appetizers were well-sized for splitting and sharing. The crudo misto, consisting of sashimi-like thinly sliced tuna and salmon, was light and fresh. Flavors in the fish were accentuated by the lemoncello vinaigrette, which provided a subtle tartness. The bistecca tartare was delicious and melted in your mouth. The parmesan arancini, a fried cheesy rice ball, though well prepared was a little heavy and had a somewhat generic taste, and was not quite as good the two other dishes mentioned. However, it was worth getting in a large group for variety’s sake.

While consuming our appetizers, conversation quickly shifted from the food itself to the differences between Europe and the U.S. as played out in the classic film Pulp Fiction. Beyond the fact that a quarter pounder sounds better than a royale with cheese, we considered the strengths and weaknesses of the metric system as compared to the imperial system. To the chagrin of the Americans in the group, we only found strengths.

Top 5 Reasons why the U.S. should switch entirely to the metric system:
– Unit conversion factors are always a power of 10.
– Until you get the feel for kilograms, you will feel thinner whenever you weigh yourself.
– NASA won’t lose as many Mars orbiters.
– Good beer is already served by the half liter.
– Even the British think the imperial system is a bad idea.

Dining Recommendations: The Orecchiette and the Lamb Shank.

Discussion recommendations: How to stop agricultural lobbyists from destroying the world.

Pasta is a specialty at Stella, and deserves the praise that it receives. The orecchiette was excellent-a little tough, not too chewy, and paired perfectly with spicy sausage. Portion size for the pasta was generous, allowing easy sharing. The lamb shank was literally falling off the bone, and its accompanying risotto balanced out the dish.

During this portion of the meal, conversation shifted to life stories. We were amazed at how each individual in the group had been adversely affected by U.S. big agro. Surely, we thought, there must be a way to stop this monster from slowly destroying humanity through pesticides and high-fructose corn syrup, not to mention its effects on the production and trade of agricultural products in the rest of the world. Unfortunately, we realized that the only effective solution was rather extreme.

Three Steps required to stop big agro from destroying the world:
– Invent cold fusion.
– Replace John McCain (2010) with John McCain (1998), and then make him dictator of all things agricultural.
– Eat locally grown, organic produce.

We’re doomed.

Jehan deFonseka is the Section B Harbus Representative.”