Stella’s Southern Bistro

Simpsonville, South Carolina is a great little town with a restaurant I’ve come to appreciate recently. Stella’s Southern Bistro is exactly what the name implies, a bistro with southern flair. For example, during a recent meal there, I began with a pulled pork spring roll. Check this monster out:

In true southern style, it came with a piece of crispy pork belly, slaw, and corn chowder. Wow! Then there were some inventive entrees, including this rolletini style concoction which featured spicy sausage wrapped in duck leg with a fried quail in the center. The photo doesn’t do the taste justice, but here it is:

That’s going all out and it really was tasty and something different, which is very difficult to do in the age of celebrity chefs and exotic fare at your fingertips. Of course, there are some regular items on the menu for those with a less adventurous palette, but why hold back? Go for it! And don’t forget dessert, such as this sorbet with fresh fruit:

Or, if you want to ramp up the calories, try this custard atop chocolate goodness toting marshmallows to boot!

There you have it, a wonderful meal with fantastic service, honest prices, and delicious food. Did I mention there’s also a bar? More than that, you can’t find, so don’t waste your time. Give Stella’s a try when you’re in the area. I did, and I’ll be back.

Gianni’s Restaurant, Aruba

After umpteen number of visits to Aruba, I finally dined at Gianni’s, which is located in the high-rise hotel area. This is a big restaurant with seating both inside and out, as well as a short length of bar to prime the pump if you’re in need. There have been many reviews of this place, talking about the good and the bad. My visit was quite satisfactory. Service was reliable, food decent, and the ambiance enjoyable. Let’s get to the food. As regular readers of The Bent Page know, I like my greens. Thus, a salad began the meal for me as seen here.

The salad was crisp and the right size. My companions enjoyed the caprese salad. See below:

Now that was a different presentation from what I’m used to seeing, but was reported to be delicious. On to the entrees. Let’s begin with the old reliable, fusilli bolognese.

The sauce was a bit more dense than what I’ve had at many other places. The flavor was good, but subdued. Then there was a rigatoni with artichokes as you’ll see next.

You can’t miss the glass of cabernet in the lower right. Much was had along with a couple of mojitos to keep things humming. Then there was the osso buco. Take a look.

That plate was wiped clean, right down to the marrow in the bone. So the rating was “delicious” on whole concoction. Desert was limited due to the large quantity of food consumed to the point. Still, room was created for a brownie with ice-cream.

I enjoyed my visit to Gianni’s and was glad to have finally made it there after all these years going to Aruba. We had a reservation for 7PM, which is probably a good idea. With all the nearby hotels, the place fills up quickly including large groups.

Enjoy the feast!

La Na, Thai

Thai food intrigues me. I know very little about this type of cuisine, but find myself willing to try it. So, recently I stopped in to La Na, located in Media, PA, USA, for a taste. It was quite delicious, with a mixture of flavors different from what I’m used to. Here goes. We started with the Thai Treasure appetizer, which is a typical dumpling and spring roll type of assortment. What made this more interesting was the sauce, there were four to choose from. Have a look:

I’m told this is a typical dish and not very exciting, but I liked it, all of it, and would make a meal of two of these plates and be very happy. But there was more. First the Chu Chee Duck as seen here:

That duck was perfectly cooked and tasty, not the least bit dry. Then there was the Evil Jungle Princess, not sure where the name comes from, but take a look.

Dig those fresh vegetables which were cooked yet crunchy and full of flavor. The sauce here contained a little heat without overpowering the individual items, which I took to be an achievement. Too often spicy food is all heat and now flavor. La Na got it just right for me.

La Na is a BYOB place, so don’t forget your favorite bottle. I’m not sure what kind of wine to pair with this type of food. Your suggestions are welcome and appreciated. On the quest to expand my tastes, I’ll be looking for more and different food.

Published in: on January 31, 2012 at 8:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Matthew’s in Aruba

Matthew’s Restaurant, that is. This is a favorite of many visitors looking for a reasonably priced meal with a view of the sea. Matthew’s is located at the Casa del Mar timeshare with a beautiful vista of the Caribbean. It’s fun to eat here and watch the cruise ships pass by. Here’s a short video showing the restaurant and a lunch.

Rib night is another regular feature at Matthew’s. When you’re on the island, call and see exactly what’s on offer and stop by for a taste. Bon dia.