4

Stella Sola: Behind the Review

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

What happens when the chef de cuisine at a chef-driven restaurant -- the man who, in Stella Sola's case, runs the kitchen on a day-to-day basis -- tenders his resignation after you've already written your review?

You rewrite it. Mostly.

Especially when it contains lines like, "And considering that Basye wasn't the restaurant's first chef de cuisine (the original partnership with chef Jason Gould fell apart days before the restaurant opened), it's a tribute to Basye's young talent that I can't even picture Stella Sola without him."

The truth is that now I do have to picture Stella Sola without one of the most talented young chefs in the city at the wheel. But I'm enthusiastic about his replacement, Adam Dorris. And as much as I thought the original idea of Bryan Caswell and Bill Floyd -- Stella Sola's owners -- leaving Basye to his own devices in the massive kitchen was an intriguing and exciting idea, I think promoting Dorris to the chef de cuisine position was an equally smart move.

And the real truth is that many more of the things I love about Stella Sola won't be affected all that much by Basye's departure. The wine list that's creative and well-priced under the stewardship of sommelier Nathan Smith; the relaxed bar area and excellent cocktails; the dining room that's both impressive enough for a fancy dinner yet comfortable enough for a lazy brunch with friends; these things will stay intact.

At least, one can hope. It's the nature of things in this industry, after all, where the only constant is change.

Not that change is a bad thing, of course. As the Upanishads teach us, creation comes out of an act of destruction. In the same way that I'm excited to see Chef Chris Shepherd "destroy" Catalan to create his own restaurant, Underbelly, I'm equally excited to see what newly appointed chef Brandi Key will make of Catalan's new incarnation, Coppa Ristorante Italiano.

And as much as I'll miss Justin Basye at Stella Sola, I'm just as intrigued to see what paths of creation he'll take here in Houston and to see what young Adam Dorris makes of the place now.

For more photos from Stella Sola's busy kitchen, check out our slideshow. And be sure to read the review itself here.


Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.