Chapel Street gets a new four-story Italian restaurant
Ali Mousavi’s father had owned Italian restaurants for over 40 years, so it’s no surprise that his new Chapel Street hotel business is continuing the family tradition. Stella, due to open in September, will be spread over four levels and offer an Italian culinary ethos with a modern Australian twist.
Named after Ali’s daughter, Stella aims to create a local, neighborhood feel with an underlying touch of elegance. Each level of the venue has been carefully designed, offering a unique experience on each – from an intimate private dining room in the basement cellar to the ground floor and first floor dining rooms adorned with velvet seating. , to the sun and the rooftop garden, there is something for all occasions and all moods.
Chef John Park (Ines Wine Bar, Vue de Monde, 400 Gradi) is in charge of the contemporary menu, with homemade artisan pastas, pizzas made in the sculptura Marana Forni pizza oven and Italian plates and desserts to share from regional inspiration.
To accentuate the Italian-leaning menu, you can expect an extensive list of local and Italian wines, as well as plenty of drink alternatives for after-work drinks, rooftop cocktails in the sun or a nightcap after the pasta.
Finn Warnock of SUM Design worked closely with Ali to bring his vision to life, with ambient colors and sleek materials used to elevate the heritage-listed 1870s building. “Stella is a contemporary take on a vibrant, traditional Italian trattoria with the circular floor-standing pizza bar as the heart of the restaurant,” says Mousavi. “Like any real kitchen, this is where you naturally gravitate, and this is the energy that will permeate the rest of the room.
Stella is set to open at 427 Chapel Street, South Yarra in September.