The creation of owner Lori Tyler, Stella has established itself as a destination in the city’s Midtown district by offering delicious, modern takes on Italian classics in a neighborhood restaurant just minutes away from downtown and Bricktown.
Tyler spent many years opening and managing some of Oklahoma City’s best restaurants, but her goal was always to open her own place. Tyler realized he lifelong dream when she opened Stella in April 2010. She chose a location blocks away from her own home because her dream was always to create a neighborhood restaurant where friends, family, and customers could gather to experience dining, not just grab a meal.
Midtown has experienced a renaissance in the past decade. Beautiful, old buildings have been refurbished, professionals and creative types are moving in, and a thriving dining and night life scene is emerging.
One of those beautiful, old buildings is Stella’s home. In the early 1920s, Anderson-Prichard built the facility as a gas station to service the neighborhood. Prior to 1930, oil companies were experimenting with service stations in residential areas. To attract customers, they chose large corner lots and erected attractive buildings. The building has been re-envisioned many times over the decades, but the basic structure remains intact, including the bay doors.
The heart of Stella is the food, though. Lori works in conjunction with executive chef Jonathan Krell, whose philosophy is that food ought to be fresh, local, and seasonal. The pair work together to create a menu that changes with the season, and they source as much locally as possible. Some features and customer favorites, like the amazing Osso Bucco, remain year round, but most of the items change quarterly.
At the end of Stella’s beautiful bar is the brick oven where the Roman-style (thin crust) pizzas are made. The menu also features appetizers, salads, soups, pasta dishes, seafood, and steak. You won’t find lasagna or spaghetti on the menu; this is modern Italian, after all, but the pasta dishes are hearty, creative, and delicious.
Dress at Stella is eclectic. Lori wants guests to feel comfortable in jeans and tee shirts before the game or in evening attire before the Philharmonic. Dressed up or dressed down, everyone will be made to feel welcome and comfortable.
Stella is open Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For reservations or more information, call Stella at 405-235-2200.