Stella Sola, Brian Caswell's new joint on Studewood, has been getting a hell of a lot of buzz for a place that hasn't served any food until this week. We sneaked into the soft opening courtesy of Ben, Brian's sous chef, and sampled Stella's already revamped-before-even-opening menu, which was changed due to the departure of Jason Gould.
Our table was in awe of the tripletail. Coming from a Gulf Coast seafood family ourselves, we know the ever-elusive tripletail is a Texan fisherman's brass ring - it was caught only once or twice by our fishing family. Brian even wrote about the infamous tripletail a few months back on his blog.
These elusive fish sure do look like flounder, until they grab the bait, flop upright, and shoot off like a bullet. When prepared properly, this strange and magical fish sounds is otherworldly, and the delicate, buttery-smooth texture of the filet we received was something to drool over. The dish cooked up by new chef Justin Bayse was bathed in an asiago sauce with pickled carrots and rested on a bed of pinto beans. The beans really melded well with the flaky filet, highlighting this Texan-influenced Italian cuisine.
A slight disclaimer: We arrived early and got great service and a delicious meal. But we spoke with some friends who got less-than-stellar service and less-than-stellar tripletail. Maybe Stella Sola can smooth things out by the public opening.