Trattoria Stella, Traverse City, 9/30/21


Trattoria Stella opened in 2004 in the basement of a refurbished and re-purposed mental hospital.  An upscale restaurant, it offers a farm to table concept with Italian overtones through a changing menu supplemented with daily specials offered.  The kitchen makes pasta, bread and cheese and a full bar is available.  The large place has lots of brick arches and cozy spots with lowered lighting throughout.  The white cloth covered tables are nicely sized and set with black napkins with music in the background.  They have a large wine list with lots of local wines.  We ordered some of their nightly specials for our meal.

sign by door
sign on wall by one entrance
sign at night
Frankie posed with a painting
tasting menu (limited time)


We started with a Negroni cocktail and the server actually gave us time to enjoy it before rushing out our wine and food.

Frankie and a Negroni cocktail


The server brought out a basket of  bread containing house made focaccia and ciabatta with oil and vinegar to mix as we wished.  The breads were at room temperature and tasty.

oil and vinegar


Our meal started with the ‘Chef’s Taste’ (on the menu but changes nightly) which that night was pasta with pork shank, celery, garlic butter, onions and pecorino cheese.  It was delicious.  Easy to split it was a dish filled with flavor where you wanted that bread to soak up the very last bit of it.  A really fun blend of ingredients.

‘Chef’s Taste’ (nightly special) – pasta with pork shank
wine front
wine back


A seared foie gras was a nightly special and it came with poached and caramelized peaches, toasted puff pastry and figs.  The amazing caramelized peaches were underneath the two perfectly seared pieces of foie gras.  The poached peaches were with the pastry and the figs were scattered about.  This was a delicious and rich dish that was also easily split for 2 and a good deal at $25.

foie gras special
Frankie pointed out the website


Another evening special was a 16 oz. grilled veal chop served with parmesan corn risotto and vegetables primavera.  The succulent veal was cooked perfectly and a healthy portion. The corn risotto was underneath and while cooked nicely was too heavy and thick. The vegetables were bright and cooked well with some being a tad salty, but that worked well to combine with the meat.  It was a tasty plate of food.

veal chop and corn risotto
corn risotto


For dessert we split the Panna Cotta with fresh nectarine glaze and orange zest.   The fruit was a lovely sweet on top of this super smooth custard-like dessert.  It was a perfect light yet sweet plate to split after a heavy meal.

dessert menu
dessert drinks
panna cotta
Frankie wondered where it went

3 thoughts on “Trattoria Stella, Traverse City, 9/30/21

    1. You’re so welcome! Few more to come yet, but glad to acquaint folks with a hidden area of good dining possibilities. Nice to meet you at Michelle’s. Happy holidays!

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