Lunch at Stella's

I don't get out for lunch often. I'm a creature of habit, eating at my desk and using my one-hour lunch break to hit the gym. So when I do get to go out to lunch, I make sure it's worth it and try to eat at a local place I've never been before. Don't get me wrong, I definitely have some favorites, Cupertino's NY Bagels being one of them. The owner, Walter Baietti, was sent down from heaven, raised in New York City, and named a saint (at least, in my book) when he brought the goodness of kettle-boiled and baked bagels to Richmond. He must have known how much I'd miss them after leaving.

Last week my coworkers and I had a late holiday-celebration lunch and made reservations at Stella's, which features "rustic and modern" Greek cuisine in the Malvern area, close to Carytown. I'd only heard great things about this place, and since I love Greek food, I was very excited to try it. It's located on Lafayette street, tucked away in the neighborhood. I can't imagine what being able to walk here would do to my waistline.

We were running late for our 12:30 reservations so I called and let them know, to which they assured me it'd be no problem. We arrived at about 12:45 to a packed restaurant, with one empty table for us. I just love that kind of service; friendly and efficient. The atmosphere was simple, homey, and definitely "rustic" with bare tree branches and clay pottery decorating the bar, while cool, clear light fixtures hung from the ceiling. I also love the community table in the center of the restaurant, hosting a smather of small groups of friends and strangers. I saw these at a lot of local places while dining out in Brooklyn and thought they were a great idea.

The lunch menu wasn't too pricey. The most expensive item was about $15, with the majority of items ranging from $8 - $13. All of the appetizers were making my mouth water, but we agreed on the hummus and tabouli platter to share. It was creamy, smooth, and delicious spread on the warm, slightly charred pita bread. I'd never had tabouli before, but now am a fan. I didn't touch the olives; there's still a picky eater in me deep down...

This particular afternoon was Day #3 of the horrendous cold rain that refused to leave Richmond, so we were in the mood for some comfort food. I love the Greek dish Pastichio, a layered pasta dish unlike anything starts with tube-shaped pasta topped with ground beef in a tomato and cinnamon sauce followed with bechamel sauce and baked.

So flavorful, warm, and comforting!

My co-workers chose Stella's Lamb Burger, complete with fresh mint, feta, and tzatziki and Greek potato salad, and the open face Lamb Gyro, featuring a leg of lamb, tomato, tzatziki, onion, and lima bean and feta salad. You could see the fresh herbs lodged in the meat when you took a bite.

Ah, yes...we split the fried potatoes. Can't forget them, just dripping in freshly grated Parmesean cheese and seasoned with salt, pepper, and oregano.

This place was a winner in my book! I'm ready to take on lunch numero dos, as well as dinner and brunch :o) any takers? I hear you need reservations for weeknights, so let's get on it.


  1. Fantastic write up Emmy. Can't wait to visit Richmond and try out Stella's!

  2. We ate here in May after Carole's graduation from VCU. LOVED it! Emma lets met sometime for lunch!

    1. Aunt Lisa, we should go soon so we can compare it to Zorba's! We had fun the other night with y'all!