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Stella Restaurant and Bar

This modern take on the classic Italian trattoria has a primo pizza offering and an all-weather rooftop terrace overlooking Chapel Street.
By Libby Curran
December 07, 2022
By Libby Curran
December 07, 2022

A four-layer slice of Italian flavour and sophistication, the multi-storey Stella is Ali Mousavi's contemporary Aussie take on the classic Italian trattoria.

An elegant fitout by Projects of Imagination and SUM Design Studio has lent each space its own identity while tying it back in seamlessly to the rest of the building. First, you've got the historic bluestone walls and back-lit cabinets of cellared vino gracing the subterranean private dining room.

Kate Pascoe

Up on the ground floor, a light-filled restaurant space makes a statement of the kitchen's impressive Golden Onyx Marana Forni pizza oven; while above sits a moodier lounge bar lined with emerald banquettes and sporting a hand-crafted light installation hung with hundreds of glass bottles. One floor further is the openair rooftop terrace, with its lush vertical garden and vistas across the inner-south.

It's a choose-your-own-adventure situation with a food offering — by Executive Chef John Park (Vue de Monde, 400 Gradi) — to match. Sipping and snacking types will be particularly happy lounging in the bar or kicking back on the rooftop, over salumi boards, mushroom arancini and beef tartare on toasted schiacciata.

House-made pasta proves a highlight, with options like lamb ragu tagliatelle with orange pangrattato, truffle mascarpone-laced pappardelle funghi and blue swimmer crab tagliolini elevated with a prawn bisque. Meanwhile, pizzas come laden with classic toppings such as pork sausage, fennel and hot salami; or marinated prawns and cherry tomatoes.

Parker Blain

Primed for rooftop knock-offs, Stella's drinks offering is headlined by a mix of Italian wines and local varietals curated by sommelier Myron Kloppers (Omnia, Ike Jime).

Of course, the Mediterranean-leaning cocktail lineup has plenty of terrace-worthy inclusions of its own — including the blackberry and hibiscus Stella Royale spritz; and the Violetta's sophisticated blend of tequila, Cointreau, lavender bitters and house-made lavender tea.

Parker Blain

Parker Blain

Images: Parker Blain and Kate Pascoe

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