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Chris Wolfgang

La Stella Cucina Verace

La Coda
Chris Wolfgang
At the helm of La Stella is Chef Luigi Iannuario, who was born and raised in Italy, and whose career has spanned everywhere from private chef to Michelin-starred restaurants. “Verace” means “authentic” in Italian, and La Stella Cucina Verace interprets “verace” as “a way of life and an appreciation for good food, good wine, and the good life.” La Stella fits in with their Arts District address, with an interior steeped in bold colors, splashes of neon and modern decor. A white piano sits just inside, and live music kicked in about halfway through our visit. La Stella’s menus breaks down into four sections; antipasti (appetizers), primi (pastas), secondi (entrées) and contorni (sides). We opened with a half-dozen of the elegant raw oysters, served chilled with a portion of caviar and a champagne-cucumber granita, along with the daily bread service that came with two types of bread, a sampling of olives and chunks of Parmesan and pecorino cheeses. For mains, try the La Coda, a rich oxtail tomato and white wine sauce served with rigatoni that was hearty and complex, and Genovese di Mamma that offered a Neapolitan style braised short rib sugo. The Genovese was a solid, albeit an interesting choice, as Iannuario once told us a decade ago that short ribs were an overdone choice of the Dallas restaurant scene. Plating on all of our dishes elevates the food to near artistic levels. The tiramisu has a mascarpone mousse and espresso and cocoa-soaked ladyfingers, served in a chilled stainless steel martini glass, and flute of house-made limoncello to wash it down.

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