Stella Van Buren is not a who. It’s a what – the restaurant that is expected to open, this June, in the new nine-story Westin Hotel (550 N. Van Buren St.).
Combining a modern (light, airy, warm) setting with classic Italian and American steakhouse fare, the restaurant will serve house-made pastas, seafood and USDA prime beef, when possible. The menu isn’t out yet, but a sample of what could be available includes steak tartare, truffled lobster salad, lobster and squid ink linguine, slow-cooked beef short ribs, Mama Rici’s spaghetti and meatballs and branzino with grapefruit, olive and pistachio relish.
The rendering of the dining room gives a sense of the layout. It’ll have 45 tables and a 50-seat bar. As for the imbibing part, press materials specify a “meticulously curated” bourbon list, extensive Italian and American wines, and a draft beer list “entirely” from Wisconsin breweries.
One of the interesting things about the hotel is its proximity to Lake Michigan. And it’s not the only new development featuring high-end dining in that part of the city: the nearby 18-story 833 East office tower is home to Rare Steakhouse.