Sunday, August 4, 2013

Trattoria Stella

Trattoria Stella on Urbanspoon

Watson had informed me of a visit made in the recent past to Trattoria Stella on Colfax Ave. in the Queen City of Denver where all members of his party left satiated and joyous, as well as with heft still in their wallets.

I was immediately suspect!
Thus we coordinated a clandestine rendezvous at the Colfax location on our next visit with the Duchess of Downing and her paramour Lord William of York, both visitors on the previous occasion with Dr. Watson and whose presence thereby allowed them to act as the 'equalizers' on this visit.


Also acting as arbiters of good taste with us on this journey as well was Lady Kimberly of Columbus and Dame Lynn of the West Virginia Mountains, whose special attendance was both welcome and long overdue!

Trattoria Stella can easily be considered a neighborhood gem, situated on the northeast corner of Steele St. and Colfax Ave. (sometimes known in bebop circles as D'Fax Ave.) and just 2 blocks south of City Park. 

It COULD be considered such if the neighborhood surrounding this little bistro welcomed it and it's patrons as well for parking in and around Stella's is darn well impossible. Neighborhood parking permits appear to be needed in the area making patronage of Stella's somewhat beguiling......but do not let this small issue stop you from visiting this trattoria.


Bruschetta
With reservations for 6 at 6:30, The Duchess and Lord William arrived early and partook in an excellent Happy Hour occasion at the R Bar, which shares an address, restrooms, as well as a pass-thru door with Trattoria Stella and is appointed in the same somewhat eclectic artwork that gives both a classic hipness.

The group started with an interesting non-toasted Bruschetta on thick Italian Bread, something with a visual splendor if not a delicious texture despite it's customary lack of 'bite'; the crusty bread giving each portion it's needed rigidity.

After a quick Lucifer Golden Ale from Belgium, the unexpected foaminess of which proved expansive on the first, second, and third pours, we settled in on a series of corporeal entrees that proved delightfully rich and light simultaneously.


Spaghetti Bolognese
Lady Kimberly stayed close to her fairly demure and conservative nature with the Spaghetti Bolognese ($13.95) with it's beef and pork sausage simmered in a ragu of plum tomatoes, carrots, celery, and onions served over an egg spaghetti. She ate slowly and succeeded in keeping any from her outer clothing, as is her way. 

Skipza
Dame Lynn, proving a bit more adventurous in her manner, chose the Skipza, seasonal vegetables sauteed in Aglio Olio Sauce with spinach spaghetti and tasted almonds which might not sound like a stepping out but the presentation did make it so.


Creamy Sausage Rigate
A Creamy Sausage Rigate ($13.95) was chosen by Lord William whose predisposition towards room temperature foods was severely tested with this steamingly hot but intriguing dish....as enrapturing as any of our choices. Made with Stella's signature Herb Seasoned Pork Sausage and tossed with a Beef Rigate in a rich tomato cream sauce.

Truffled Asparagus Pasta
Following suit in a more vegetarian bend, Watson remained true to form with the Truffled Asparagus Pasta ($13.95) with asparagus, wilted arugula, toasted pine nuts, portabello and crimini mushrooms with an egg fettucine and white truffle oil... delicious and perfect.

The Duchess and I both ventured towards the 32nd St. Pasta of 
black tiger shrimp, toasted pecans, sun dried cranberries sauteed in a spicy lemon olive oil with spinach spaghetti and goat cheese.


32nd St. Pasta
As a second visit this was the Duchess' choice that first time as well and while she thoroughly enjoyed it the first time she seemed less enamored with it this visit. My thorough inspection of this dish was completed in nearly 4 minutes and was attributed to the aromatic delights, the colorful and succulent nature of the ingredients, as well as the lack of daily sustenance this day had already brought me.

An unexpected delight mid-meal was the delivery of a Milk Stout Nitro from the Left Hand Brewing Company of Longmont, CO. for Lord William and a 'Pearl de Vere' for myself, an amalgam of Stranahan's distilled artisanal whiskey, pomegranate juice, and Angnostura bitters, named for the highly successful Cripple Creek, Colorado Madame from the mid-1800's and perhaps the most famous brothel owner of her day.