Stella Diner: You are in for a great burger
After the Stella Theater and the Stella Cocktail Bar, let me introduce you to the Stella Diner. Under the helm of the Press'Up Group (who owns a bunch of restaurants, bars and venues around Dublin, such as Sophie's, Roberta's, Dollard & Co or the recently opened Lucky Duck), this new eatery has replaced a Korean restaurant on Lower Rathmines Road.
Instead of sushi and bibimbap, you can now eat some classic American food between these walls - which used to host a bank and have kept some remains from that time.
As with all their venues, Press'Up did a pretty amazing job in redesigning the place. I'm not always a fan of the food they serve (I am looking at you, Roberta's) but they definitely have a great eye for interior design.
As the name implies, the Stella Diner looks like a classic American-style diner. On the right side, the long pewter counter separates the room for an open kitchen, facing big confortable booths on the left side. At the bottom of the room, some small tables offer a more intimate setting.
A mandatory Heinz ketchup bottle is placed on each table, alongside the salt and pepper. The walls are painted quite dark with pops of red (chairs, booths), but some old lamps and a gorgeous window ceiling make the place really bright and elegant. The great idea behind the diner is that it offers an all-day breakfast-lunch-dinner menu.
I visited the Stella Diner on a warm sunny evening with my mum, who was visiting from France. All the booths were full so we happily sat at the counter. While I felt tempted by a stack of pancakes, I went for the cheeseburger, and my mum opted for the chicken burger, after hesitating with the huge hot dogs that we saw being prepared before our eyes.
Both dishes come with "a handful of fries", as the menu states, and let's say that the hand is quite a generous one. As delicious as these homemade chips were, I couldn't have more than half the serving - this is not a complaint, I wish I had enough room to finish them.
As for the burger, it didn't disappoint. The sweet toasted brioche bun, filled with a slice of tomato, crunchy lettuce and a lovely pink sauce complimented the star of the show, a generous beef patty. Charred on the outside and juicy inside, it would make any burger lover happy.
The chicken burger comes in a crispy and slightly spicy batter and my mum really enjoyed it. As much as we both love a good dessert, we couldn't try the albeit tempting dessert menu, homemade pies and milkshakes. Many items à la carte made me want to come back to try more.
I read mixed reviews about the service, yet our experience couldn't have been nicer. Our waitress was very helpful, kindly explained the menu, gave us good recommendations and checked on us several times during our meal. For less than 30€ for two, including two burgers and a beer, this diner keeps its promises and should become another stellar success.