Last night I had the pleasure of dining with my friend Meghan for drinks and small plates at Stella Blu in West Conshohocken. Stella Blu and The Star Bar is described as a friendly and upscale atmosphere featuring small and large plates with a Global flair.
Each weeknight Stella Blu has Happy Hour specials from 5-7pm. Meghan and I decided to take advantage of the $8 wine flights and 1/2 off small plates.
We both started off our wine flights with a glass of the Sebastiani Pinot Noir from Sonoma. It was very good, with a hint of berry flavor. The bartender was very generous in her tasting pours and we ended up enjoying three glass about this size:
After enjoying our first glass of wine we anxiously waited for our small plate orders. We went with four different and delicious sounding options. We started with the Grilled Asparagus
The asparagus was served with roasted red peppers, shaved parmesan cheese, poached egg, and olive oil. It was a delicious combination and although I was hesitant about the egg at first, the texture went along nicely with the peppers and asparagus. Along with the asparagus we also enjoyed Stella Blu’s Spicy Mussel Pot; made with sauteed tomatoes, basil, chipotle white wine sauce.
The mussels themselves were tasty, but every so often I would get a mussel that had a little too much sand in it still. What lacked in the mussels was 110% made up for in the sauce. This sauce was so delicious. It was tangy and spicy and would have made a perfect topping for pasta. Luckily the bartender gave us some bread to enjoy the broth even more 🙂 .
At this point Meghan and I ordered our second glass of wine. I went with the Hardy’s “Nottage Hill” Shiraz, from South East Australia. Shiraz is definitely on the top of my list of most enjoyed red wines and this one did not disappoint. It had nice berry flavors with a hint of spice at the end.
Next up on our small plate journey was the Lobster and Fresh Porcini Mushroons with butter, black pepper, and fettuccine.
I will be honest when I say I did not enjoy this dish. The noodles were very thick and slimy from the butter/oil sauce and had no taste whatsoever. The lobster itself was OK, on the dry side and the mushrooms were too chewy. Meghan and I had a hard time getting over how oily the noodles were! So much so that we did not use our plates for the final dish, as to avoid drenching it in the butter/oil.
Although the lobster dish was not so good, the last small plate we ordered made up for it. We had the Shrimp Pad Thai which was stir fried rice noodles, shrimp, peanuts, beansprouts, egg, chili, and fresh lime.
This dish was GREAT! It had all of the components of a traditional Pad Thai but also had an awesome tangy flavor to it. My thought is that chili brought out the new and tasty flavors.
Meghan and I finished our happy hour wine flight with a glass of the “El Portillo” Malbec. I know I just said this about the shiraz, but Malbec is also on the top of my list. Malbec is a wine that you traditionally find in Argentina, although Francis Coppola (the film director) has a wonderful Malbec from California that he made. I found it in stores about a year ago and have not found it near me since! I hope to enjoy a bottle of it sometime soon.
This meal was so delicious and affordable at the Happy Hour prices. Spending $20/pp for a generous wine flight and four reasonably sized small plates is definitely something worth checking out here. The Mussels were probably my favorite with the Shrimp Pad Thai coming in at a VERY close second.
If you are looking to explore the restaurant scene outside of Philadelphia, please come to Conshohocken and check out Stella Blu!