by Steven Doyle
From the creative mind of Jeremiah Miranda, who is a night club man operating Austin’s 6th St Trophy Club, Uptown Trophy Room in Dallas, Trophy Ranch in Forth Worth and Wholesome Grub in Plano (and more), comes the latest on Henderson. This time the concept is all restaurant with the Henderson requisite kick butt bar. Enter Stellar.
Located at 2810 N. Henderson Ave., in the space previously occupied by Vickery Park, Stellar features mid-century modern décor with indoor and outdoor tables, American Cuisine, a cocktail bar and a fun dog-friendly patio.
Jeremiah Miranda at work
“We’re excited to open and share this special concept with everyone,” said Jeremiah Miranda, owner of Miranda Management. The youngish and high energy owner continued, “Stellar is perfect for dining with friends and enjoying a drink off our throwback-inspired cocktail menu. We’ll have elements of healthy eating as well as comfort foods with an array of options to please even the most discriminating of palates.”
With a name as bold as Stellar, Miranda needs to pull off all these elements and after our first visit this past holiday weekend, which can be a hit or miss for a new restaurant, the crowds said hit as the food and drink were impressive.
The menu is short and easy. This is one of the most common complaints I hear about restaurants, that the menu is encyclopedic and the kitchen staff can be overwhelmed with the variety of elements. This can be a wonderful thing with a massive staff and a kitchen large enough to accommodate. In the case of Stellar the kitchen is as large as yours at home and the chef was smart enough to keep the reigns pulled firm on the menu. Brilliant.
That said, a small group of us were able to sample a majority of the menu with great ease. Think a handful of sharable dishes such as wings, calamari and Texas poutine. The latter was made of skinny truffled fries, pulled brisket, a smattering of gravy and a cheese sauce. Probably would skip this item next time, and instead stick with a terrific order of mussels and clams served with warm and supple grilled pita. A table favorite.
The hand held offerings included a very good example of a cheeseburger, blackened fish tacos and a chopped brisket sandwich. Good, great and good in that order. All worth an order.
They are still playing with the menu and have a few items not listed, but you will find them this week we were told. Think big beef. A delicious sliced hangar steak married with a saucy plate of stone ground grits had us all singing the Stellar theme song (if there was one). We also caved to the bone-in rib-eye that was epic and served with a smattering of mashed potato.
We did not sample the meatloaf which seemed popular with the millennials surrounding us. They were as adorable as the decor and seemed a nice touch if ordered by the staff as props.
We had to sample the lobster mac, which in actuality was a heartier tortelleni sauced perfect with ricotta and parmesan. Large shards of delicate lobster meat dotted the large bowl, and this was an order for one extremely hungry fellow or for a table to share along with their steaks and burger. Stellar seems to invite sharable dining, which I enjoy.
There are a few large salads including a chicken Caesar and a wedge, Dallas staples to be sure.
The menu seems to be a bit safe, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Stellar seems to know their audience extremely well and plays up to this. Dining seems important, will satisfy and bring friends together, possibly before a night of revelry. Spot-freaking-on.
As you might expect with a group that owns bars, the cocktails are above average. Here are a few examples, which might seem like familiar plays on classics:
Pinky’s Out Of Jail – Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka, fresh-pressed lemon juice, organic cranberry juice, Chandon Brut Classic Champagne, blueberries, shaken and served chilled over a cloudy layer of dry ice for a fun bubbling effect.
Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’– Honey, cucumber, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime juice; pressed, shaken, and poured over the rocks with soda water in a Tajin rimmed Collins glass.
Fuzzy Duck – Rum Haven Coconut Rum, fresh pineapple juice, organic orange juice, shaken and served chilled in a sugar-rimmed coupe, garnished with a cool mint sprig.
There is a full bar, and seems to always have a nice crowd surrounding. Stellar is open 4pm to 2am Monday through Friday. Weekends they open at 11am and close at 2am. Great and consistent hours.
I do not believe in reviewing a restaurant that is a mere few weeks old. To be perfectly honest, that is an amateur move. But we hope you enjoyed this first look at what we hope is a continued work in progress. Miranda indicated that would be the case and will take suggestions to work on what his patrons are looking for. Miranda also told us he was not aiming for fine dining, but instead a solid experience, which is brilliant. A restaurateur needs to know their place in order to succeed.
Think great patio, nice food, awesome cocktails, and a fun place to land with friends or to make new ones. Stellar is a restaurant I will return to again.