At certain hot-spots, the aforementioned three items starting with “P” might make for a fun night. But at Stellar, in Knox-Henderson, none of those things are any good at all, not even a little bit. The Dallas Observer’s food editor Beth Rankin spent one horrendous night at Stellar and had nothing but horrible things to say about it in her review, published early this morning.
Rankin’s review starts with a savage take-down of what her server — a bartender stepping in to help wait the table — was wearing.
It started with a server wearing less than what most people wear to the beach; her lacy lingerie top (a black bra with sheer black lace covering a small portion of her midsection) was complemented by black shorts smaller than most underpants. The shorts — which had ties up the sides, exposing even more flesh — were so short, she constantly grabbed at her crotch in an effort to stop them from crawling up inside of her, never to return.
The main problem with Stellar isn’t the waitstaff’s garb, though, says Rankin — it’s actually the spot’s identity crisis. Stellar claims to be decorated in a midcentury modern way but it’s all kitted out in gleaming marble and other uber-contemporary trends. The huge TVs at this definitely-not-a-sports-bar bar don’t make a lick of sense either.
Oh, and the food and drink? They suck. Take this description of a cosmo-like drink:
It was made with Le Citron, lemon juice (if you really have to advertise that your lemon juice is "fresh-pressed," that sets the bar pretty damn low), champagne and blueberries shaken and "served chilled over a cloudy layer of dry ice." If dry ice was involved, we didn't see it; what arrived at our table was a dated-looking pink cocktail with blueberries sunken in the bottom of a martini glass. It looked like 1997 and tasted like Pine-Sol.
This downer spirit is a trend through much of the cocktail menu — bland, boring, basic. Same with the food menu. “Texas poutine” will run you $14 and has “ho-hum French fries” topped with dry, flavorless brisket and utterly unappetizing cheese sauce. The edamame hummus “was innocuous but boring, and it came bizarrely garnished with a purple orchid.” Because, why not?
While the things to eat and drink were bad, Rankin experienced a truly bizarre moment while sitting with food and drink in the dining room on a Friday night: a staff member went around the room spraying disinfectant.
If someone comes by spraying a harsh, odorous disinfectant at your feet in the middle of Friday dinner service — the absolutely worst moment to flood your dining room with harsh chemical odors — it's worth getting nervous about. What invisible problem was so pressing that it compelled Stellar's staff to risk dumping Lysol on patrons? Whatever that problem is, we don't want to know about it.
So perhaps her Pine-Sol reference wasn’t too far out of left field?
Rankin thinks there’s still time for Stellar to get up to snuff — it’s only been open a few weeks — but it’s clear she’s not holding her breath.