I parked on Main Street and walked around the corner to get to Stella Blu, stopping on the way to take some pictures of the holiday decorations.
I love it when the decorations are up, especially at night when all the trees are draped with white lights and everything looks festive. I can't wait to get my tree this weekend and spend an evening decorating the apartment, listening to Christmas music, and drinking egg nog!
But for the meantime, back to Stella's...
Stella Blu is a tapas restaurant/martini bar in Nashua (formerly called Manhattan on Pearl). For those of you who don't know, tapas are small plates of food that are meant to be shared with the table, rather than ordering big meals for yourself. This tradition began in Spain, but has become quite popular in America. I love it because I usually have a very hard time deciding what to order, so this way I get to try many more things! I've been to Stella's many times, and everyone I've brought there has loved it.
Gina and I started with drinks last night, a dirty martini for me (ketel one with 3 large olives!) and a French Kiss martini for her. We then each ordered a salad. I changed things up and ordered the Apple Fennel Salad (granny smith apples, sliced fennel, arugula and cranberries, dressed lightly with a cider vinaigrette). The waiter was very excited to tell me that I could even eat the outside of the salad (since it was made of cucumber)!
This was as delicious as it was beautiful! The dressing was very light, which was perfect because I don't like much dressing, and the fresh cranberries were great with the shredded cheese and apples.
Gina got the Roasted Beet Salad (which she always orders and I usually order) - it is one of our favorite items on their menu. It has red and yellow beets (the yellow beets are a new addition!) on mixed greens with dried cherries, sugared hazelnuts, goat cheese balls and a blood orange vinaigrette. I am very sorry to say that I didn't get a picture of this, or anything else for the rest of the night. I think I was so involved with my dirty martini and catching up with Gina that all thoughts of photographs left my mind. Next time I promise to document much more!
We ordered two more dishes: Mongolian Beef and Vegetables (cooked in an orange teriyaki sauce and served over rice) and Eggplant Rollatini (breaded and rolled with fresh ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and served with the house marinara sauce). This was my first time having either of these dishes and both were out of this world! As we scraped every last bite from the plates, our waiter Dan (who has waited on us every time we've been here and is quite fantastic) suggested another round of drinks. Gina got another French Kiss and I chose a Menage a Trois (raspberry and blueberry vodkas, cointreau, and something else with berries) which came with skewered blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. It was quite fruity and very good, though made me wish I was sipping it by the pool on a 90 degree day!
To reinforce just what a great waiter he was, Dan also brought over a free piece of cheesecake for us! It was a classic cheesecake with a turtle topping (lots of chocolate and caramel) ... I'm not normally a big fan of gooey caramel topping, but this was just right with the chocolate and cheesecake.
During dinner Gina and I decided that we must start coming to Stella's more often...so its now on the books as a monthly date. You know a place is great when you're already planning your return visit when you're there!