17 Monarch Bay Plaza
Dana Point, CA 92629Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $31 to $50
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://www.stellasitalian.com/
- Phone: 9492341679
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Dinner: Sunday - Saturday: 4:30pm - 10:00pm
Happy Hour in Lounge - Tuesday - Friday: 2:30pm-7:00pm, and
Saturday & Monday 4:30pm-7:00p.m., Sunday 4:30 pm until close
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Seafood, Italian
- Executive Chef: Marco Mariselli
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Delivery, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Catering: Stella's provides full off-site catering for any event.
- Private Party Facilities: Our patio is available for private parties for lunch and dinner. A minimum number is required for a completely private affair depending on the day and time. The patio offers an ideal setting for Saturday and Sunday afternoon affairs as the restaurant is closed and the ocean views are spectacular. Please call for more information.
- Private Party Contact: Marco Mariselli 9492341679
- Entertainment: We feature a live saxophonist Tuesday through Sunday.
- Special Events: Sign up for our email club on our website to receive information about wine and cheese tastings, special entertainment and events.
A word from Stella's
Stella's is the embodiment of serious Italian cuisine - original recipes and techniques alongside the freshest organic products, housemade cheeses, and carefully selected Italian flavors. Stella's is the perfect place for friends and family to gather - be it at the bar with a chilled martini, an appetizer in the lounge, or dining alfresco while tasting your way through the wine list and menu. Whatever your pleasure or mood, Stella's can make it happen!Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Stella's - Best Restaurants in Dana Point ›
Stella's reviews from OpenTable diners
36 reviews since May 5, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (25)scenic view (20)special occasion (19)fit for foodies (17)romantic (17)great for outdoor dining (10)notable wine list (9)vibrant bar scene (7)good for groups (6)great for lunch (6)late-night find (5)kid-friendly (4)great for brunch (4)hot spot (2)Show More
- Run far run fastRWHintheOCVIPDined on 8/29/2014I would put this place in the same group as Denny's, Norms, and outback. Terrible steaks, cooked poorly, served us sour cream and called it horseradish. Horrible overpriced wine list.
- Not typical Italian restaurant.LocalfrequentdinerDined on 8/23/2014Old world charm with California decor and contemporary menu.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Classic ItalianIz79VIPDined on 8/10/2014Classic Italian tucked into the corner of a shopping center. Stella's has an "old school" ambiance and a beautiful ocean view. Hearty portions of good Italian food. Friendly service. Definitely worth a try.Special Features:
- BelleDiningVIPDined on 8/9/2014Authentic Italian dining experience, the food was wonderful, the service was fantastic, and an overall great experince.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Stella's. Dana PointDPdinerDined on 8/9/2014Enjoyed a meal with friends on Saturday night. Warmly greeted, server was attentive and was not disappointed by the menu or the mealSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- cathycreatesDined on 8/8/2014Felt like a little bit of Italy tucked into a strip mall.... with an ocean view from it's very cozy and cute enclosed patio. Wonderful sax player providing a romantic ambiance, amazing waiter - it would be our "go to" place if we lived in the area!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great FoodMorganAshleyVIPDined on 8/2/2014We got here a little late but the food was terrific. Our waitress was in a constant hurry. Took 10 minutes to come over and greet us. Asked what we wanted to drink, I told her I wanted to wait until I was ordering and she responded with " ordering a drink will help you choose?" a little pushy for me. Also, when the bill came she asked if we could hurry and pay so she could leave. She rushed my experience and the atmosphere of this place isn't like that. They have awesome live music and such a cool atmosphere that she was the only bummer about this place. I will totally come back, just ask not to be seated in her section.Special Features:
- Stellas for a celebrationksb48VIPDined on 8/2/2014We enjoy Stellas for celebrating.....our daughter made it to a National competition and it's her favorite choice and #1 pick. She loves the Caesar salad and ravioli. I had the eggplant parm and salad and hubby had chicken and salad. Everything was delicious....the only issue was some very annoying people letting their children run around in the dining room. When will parents ever learn to discipline their kids....they are not cute when they are running and screaming in a restaurant. We felt sorry for the other patrons and mostly the servers.....we will return.Special Features:
- Amazing as alwaysAgnleonrfpDined on 7/27/2014I have dined at Stella's on numerous occasions, and have NEVER been disappointed. This place is a real culinary find.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AgntnAgnleonrfpDined on 7/20/2014The salmon promo door is outstanding. The service is excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Surfing2Dined on 7/18/2014Romantic atmosphere. Had a booth is corner sitting on benches with pillows overlooking the ocean. Food was above average. Waiter was very attentive and came by many times to ask how everything was. A bit expensive for a neighborhood spot, but worth the price based on food and atmosphere. Would recommend Stella's to couples looking for a very romantic spot to enjoy good food and remarkable views. Live music as well that was just loud enough so you could hear it but not too loud you could not have a conversation with other members at the table.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great dinner with friendsJackJillDined on 7/10/2014The server was very professional, he understood, and easily explained, the menu preparation and was very good at recommendations. His detail of the off menu appetisers and dishes was mouthwatering. The food was excellent. My guests and I enjoyed our dinners very much.Special Features:
- Love Stellas!!ksb48VIPDined on 7/6/2014My daughter and I took her dad out for a birthday celebration. We love Stellas, especially the live music and cozy atmosphere. We will return....Special Features:
- FABULOUSMarathonMomDined on 6/28/2014Every meal - every time - from the service to the food we've never been disappointed.Special Features:
- Birthday Celebrationksb48VIPDined on 6/20/2014Every year our (now 12 yr old) daughter pics Stellas as the place to celebrate her birthday. We love the food...she had ravioli and ceasar salad, I had Eggplant Parm and a side of Broccoli Rapini, hubby had Penne with rapini and sausage. We shared the ahi appetizer and they gave her a complimentary dessert for her birthday. She loves the CA Tartuffo dessert and it came with a candle. We tried a new Sangiovese bottle of wine and it was delicious and served at the perfect temperature (not warm). We will definitely return and Thanks to Gary (for his birthday song) and the staff at Stellas for making a little girl's birthday celebration special.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 6/15/2014I have eaten at Stella's several times. The garlic flatbread is a great appetizer. Their mushroom risotto is the best, but you have to request if because it is sometimes a special, but never on the menu. The chocolate espresso martini is amazing. All of this seems to depend on who is in the kitchen and behind the bar because the quality and portions of the food and drinks are inconsistent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent food, if a little priceyOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 6/13/2014Fantastic meal, although more expensive than expected ($200 with 1 shared starter and 1 shared dessert for 3 people, inc one bottle of wine). That said, the ocean view was also an unexpected bonus, even if it was slightly spoiled by the garbage dumpsters on the far right. Sax player was tasteful and pretty unobstrusive. Will definitely return when budget permits.Special Features:
- Never disappointsJanetLBDined on 6/12/2014We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary at Stella's. We come every year, so it has become our favorite. This year we brought 9 family/friends with us. Beautiful view of the ocean, lovely Italian style covered patio dining with fireplace, excellent service, delicious food (everyone enjoyed their entree and was impressed), enjoyed one of my favorite wines, Justin. But one of my favorite things about Stella's is Gary King, the strolling sax player. He always makes the evening well worth the drive. The owner came by to wish us Happy Anniversary and gave us a complimentary, delicious cannoli, for dessert! We'll be back next year, or before!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Stella's IS SeriousCoachJudyVIPDined on 5/18/2014Since moving to California six years ago I've been in search of good, authentic Italian food. Stella's fills the bill and then some. The food and service were excellent and the prices reasonable. The wait staff is friendly, attentive and knowledgeable and the music provided by the saxophone is not "in your face" by any means (something I always hate at restaurants with music).Special Features:
- Fabulous FoodNeighborhoodfindDined on 5/17/2014The lobster/shrimp ravioli was fantastic, as was the vitello marsala. The waiter recommended La Crema Pinot and it turned out to be delicious. We will definitely return.Special Features:
- Great findMJSoCalDined on 5/17/2014We were looking for something we had not tried before, and were thrilled with the result at Stella's. Food was fabulous, and a really impressive menu of options. Servers (from bar to table) were very cool. Will defiantly go back to try more of the stuff on the menu.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 295 reviews are from the Stella's reviews archive.
- Family friendlyMMlmVIPDined on 5/10/2014Maybe it was because it was the day before Mothers Day, but there were lots of big groups and children. Noise level a bit high as large groups get noisy. Food was good basic Italian, good portions. Wine glasses could be improved.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Local GemretbarmanDined on 4/25/2014My neighbor recommended we try Stella's for Happy Hour. We made a dinner reservation for 8:30 and showed up 1 hour early and were promptly show a table. By the time we reached the table we were hungry just from the wonderful aromas wafting through the restaurant. Our waiter was knowledgeable and friendly, the service timely, and the food wonderful. owner stopped by the table to make sure all was well. Couldn't ask for more.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Stellas is our go to placeksb48VIPDined on 4/25/2014We went to celebrate our anniversary with our 11 year old....she loves the fresh Caesar salad and pasta. I had linguini with clams and hubby had angel hair with shrimp. My pasta was a little heavy on the sauce and It was thicker than I like...hubby's pasta overcooked a bit but shrimp perfect. We love the ahi appetizer and daughter has CA Tartuffo every time we come. They brought us a free anniv dessert with candles and lemoncello (nice touch). We love Stellas and will return...we love our waiter...he has been there forever and is top notch and Gary is always a great musical addition to a good night of food and wine.Special Features:
- EasterOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 4/20/2014We had an early afternoon reservation. Oso Bucco was fabulous and Lobster Ravioli with a full lobster tail on top was killer. Mike priovided great service at just the right pace. Perfect!!Special Features:
- Wonderful Italian Gem!luvnlifeDined on 4/19/2014What a wonderful experience at Stellas's. The service was great the food excellent and the atmosphere was busy but not too loud for a quiet dinner with that someone special. The chef made Pasta Putanesca even though it was not on the menu.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Looks can be deceivingPJRNVIPDined on 4/13/2014What this shopping mall restaurant lacks on the outside, they make up for on the inside! Great food, intimate ambiance and even century sightings. Magic Johnson stopped in for take out the night we were there. One note: there is a bit of a cheesy saxophone player, but he leaves you alone if desired. It's just not our thing.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Celebration for our 6th graderksb48VIPDined on 4/4/2014Stellas is her favorite place to go for celebrations. She loves the Caesar salad, plain pasta and mostly CA Tartuffo. We love the Ahi appetizer and I had the linguini with clams and hubby had the ravioli. We always enjoy Stellas.....and will return soon!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Love Stella's for our lunches!gkiwiDined on 4/1/2014The ladies of our Small Group love to gather at Stella's for a quarterly lunch. The food is excellent and the service is great!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- We think Stella's is an excellentSamsonDined on 3/15/2014We think Stella's is an excellent restaurant, with everything we look for when dining out.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Don't be fooled by the websiteFab0314Dined on 3/14/2014I was looking for a great place with amazing food and ambiance for a special Birthday, and read on the website they had gorgeous ocean views and outdoor seating. The outdoor seating was covered in a plastic tent so it wasn't outdoor, the place was pretty old and the crowd there equally as old, low energy and the "ocean views" entailed some ocean view along with a perfect view of a huge Gelson's marquee and restaurant parking lot along with 3 large trash bins. That was not at all romantic or pleasant. The decor was outdated with christmas lights all over. The service was good and the food was also good, but it was an expensive dinner for a mediocre strip mall place. This was a disappointment and ruined the Birthday evening I hoped to have.
- Stellas is always a treat!ksb48VIPDined on 3/1/2014We love coming here for date night. Gary's music adds such a nice feel to the evening. We love that the red wine is properly chilled when served now...the food is fresh, hot and always delicious. I had the eggplant parm for the first time and LOVED it...hubby had the ravioli and loved his too. We shared the ahi appetizer....size is large and it's delicious. It's like sharing a fresh salad with generous ahi portions. The chianti was delicious and we will definitely return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dined here for my husband'sOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 2/25/2014Dined here for my husband's birthday and the service and food were impeccable! Will most definitely return!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great FindfoodcriticDined on 2/22/2014This gem is Tucked Away In The Corner Of A Shopping Center And I Probably Would Never Have Stopped To eat there. Thanks to open table I had the opportunity to enjoy Stella's from the great service, amazing food and delightful live music. This is definitely a great restaurant I will be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pricey but goodLNgirl8Dined on 2/14/2014This place was recommended by a couple of different friends as being very good. I made reservations for valentines dinner but the restaurant website did not mention there would be pre fixe meals for that night. The selection of entrees was good nevertheless and I ordered the lobster ravioli which actually came with a lobster tail. The Chilean seabass ordered by my husband was succulent and cooked to perfection. My girlfriend was a little disappointed in the baby lamb chops which lacked quantity and it was dry to her. We enjoyed the saxophone player who entertained us throughout our meal. My main complaint is that they did not post the menu or the prices so I was a little taken aback by the total amount incurred for the dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice Italian dinner.buytheshortsVIPDined on 2/7/2014Stella's is tucked away in the corner of the Monarch Plaza. The food was good but the prices were a little expensive. Cocktails $13-$14, apps $18.00 Entrees $20-$40. The service was good and the meal was served properly. We will return but only for special occasions.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- disappointed this timerobinocVIPDined on 2/1/2014We eat at Stellas's often, as the food is consistently good, and it's close to our home. We were quite disappointed this time though by the maître d's attitude when we arrived 10 minutes late and told our reservation had already been given away. They then brought us to the worst table where one would hit their head on the bar counter. We asked for another table, which they did oblige, but we could not believe they would even attempt to seat us there in the first place with so many open tables- and we did have a reservation. No one ever ate at several tables, even though Open table also showed no openings after 6:30. That's poor management, and bad business and something they need to fix.Special Features:
- We had great lunch.ServiceSarvVIPDined on 1/30/2014We had great lunch.Service was great,Amanda server and the staff was very polite.ThanksSpecial Features:
- Great Food and Great ServiceValentinesDined on 1/27/2014We loved the food and service. They really took great care of us.Special Features:
- FavoriteOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 1/27/2014My favorite local Italian restaurant. Had the Cioppino and it didn't disappoint. Plenty of seafood and a flavorful, but not overpowering broth. The garlic bread ( tastes like pizza dough) was a great addition. Asked for and was seated at a fireside table. Service was excellent as always.Special Features: