My purpose in going to Stella's was to eat minestrone. I had just made some and was dissatisfied with it, so going to an Italian restaurant (in Taos?) would settle my quest for the right taste of this soup, so I thought. As usual, the tomato aspect of Italy is overdone. I am from Massachusetts and I do not like Italian restaurants for that reason...too much tomato, as if there is no other Italian food but tomato sauce or gravy as they call it there. And so the minestrone was not only with too much tomato, but no cannellini beans. The base of true minestrone is a bean broth which tones down the tomato which these days has become a canned version, not the tomatoes left on the fire for hours, or days. It was not the minestrone I know, but people everywhere take liberties in their food. It's not as if there are no beans in N. Mexico. Perhaps the proprietor, who owns the Bistro down the street, does not like beans?
The special of the day was a salmon with a pesto and vegetables in alfredo sauce over pasta, the details escape me - which pesto, which pasta? But what does not escape me is that the vegetables were the exact same ones as the soup. It's as if the veggies are added later to expedite the process of cooking. That's ok by me, but the idea of the dissatisfying minestrone lingered over the nicer meal. I have to add that ordering salmon that does not specify wild means you are getting farmed and farmed should not be eaten due to gross conditions of farmed salmon (see a National Geographic article from the 80's and subsequent information since then).
The atmosphere is great, including some Italian music, interspersed with Mexican and who knows what? The waiter was also the cook and the busboy that day. But he did a fine job of getting it all done. There were only two tables occupied, mine included on that occasion, yet, just my demands kept him busy.
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