Ohe creation of owner Lori Burson, 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.
Lori spent many years opening and managing some of Oklahoma City’s best restaurants, but her goal was always to open her own place. Lori realized a lifelong dream of owning her own restaurant 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, very unlike the service stations we know today. The building has been re-envisioned many times over the decades, but the basic structure remains intact, including the bay doors which are now large picture windows.
The heart of Stella is the food, though. Lori works in conjunction with Executive Chef Melissa Aust and their experienced kitchen staff to develop menu items that are fresh, local, and seasonal. The menu changes each season but some features and customer favorites, remain yearround, but most of the items change quarterly. The winter menu begins mid- January.
At the end of Stella’s beautiful bar is the brick oven where the Roman-style (thin crust) pizzas are made. The menu always contains a number of pizza choices. The menu also features appetizers, salads, soups, pasta dishes, seafood, and steak. You won’t find 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 t-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.
Located at 1201 North Walker, Stella is open Tuesday through Thursday 11am to 10pm; Friday 11am to 11pm; Saturday 10:30am-2:30pm for brunch and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. for dinner. Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For reservations, directions or more information call 405-235-2200 or visit www.stellaokc.com.
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