Would we go back:
1400 W Lake Street
• Traditional Chesapeake Bay Baked Crab Cakes (shared) $14.95
• Stuffed Grouper $22.95
I think ten years ago, Stella's would have been one of the best seafood restaurants in town, but now I think they are mediocre at best. The problem is we already have a few good seafood restaurants and then just regular restaurants are serving good quality seafood...at least much better than say ten years ago. So now you have to not only serve good quality seafood, but you have to serve it well, and I think that is where Stella's fails.
My dish was not impressive at all, it was salty and yet not flavorful, if the two can be in the same dish. The crab cakes were average at best. Steve's scallops were prepared well, but for 25.95 they should be. That was another beef I had with Stella's is that they are charging top dollar and when you do that you need to perform on all levels, not just acquiring fresh seafood. But you need to prepare it well and you need to have good service. The atmosphere reminded me of TGI Fridays crossed with Red Lobster.
Overall as you can tell I was disappointed.
• Seared Scallops $25.95
Stella's Fish Cafe is a seafood restaurant along the lines of McCormick and Schmick's or Oceanaire, but in Uptown instead of Downtown Minneapolis. The décor is much simpler, akin to a remodeled warehouse space that gives it a relaxed feel.
I thought the crab cakes tasted fine and my scallops were excellent. However, I think they charge too much for what you get. Each item would be reasonably priced if they were $5 less each. In short, they're charging downtown prices when they should be charging uptown prices. This is probably because of their "overhead" - the spacious second floor was absolutely empty when we were there. I'm sure it's hopping on Friday and Saturday nights, but the large finished dining area and banquet room must sit unused the rest of the week. This might not be obvious, except that the only restrooms require a long roundabout walk to the second floor.
Stella's is a good seafood option if you're in Uptown and willing to pay the price.
20 and up
September 3, 2006