Rectangular panes of brightly colored glass hang in the window of a lime green building dotting the corner of East Colfax and Steele St. Outside, the patio is filled with diners sipping on Mimosas and Lemon Drop Punch, refreshing lemonade kicked up with champagne and vodka.
Inside, your eyes jump from the modern art decorating the walls to the menu. Because as alluring as the décor of Trattoria Stella’s East Colfax location is for a hungry bruncher in search of a relaxing yet funky atmosphere, it’s the food that will make you come back.
Start your meal with a cocktail and some bread spread with owner Marna Sumners’ house-made jelly while you decide what to order. Stella’s menu changes seasonally, and weekly specials are also offered.
A year-round brunch favorite, though, is the Hole in the Fax, two pieces of toast with eggs baked in the center sandwiching melty mozzarella, bacon, arugula and a crispy potato medley on the side. It’s all the classic breakfast foods you crave when the hangover hits and it delivers on flavor and will fill
you up. Or try the Shrimp and Grits, Duck Sausage Hash or maybe the French Toast with fresh fruit and Devonshire cream for a subtly sweet brunch treat.
While Stella also offers other brunch favorites including a variety of omelets and benedicts, you can opt for salad and pasta offerings like Spaghetti Bolognese and Crispy Prosciutto Salad as well.
Among the recurring specials, the Risotto with Scallops, pan-seared scallops served over freshly made risotto cakes with a corn bacon-cream sauce that I could eat on anything, is a particularly mouth-watering choice. The risotto cakes are light and crisp and the scallops were tasty enough to satisfy even this non-seafood fan.
Trattoria Stella also has a Highlands location. Brunch is served at both locations on Sundays from 10-2. Reservations are recommended.
If you sleep in, though, check out Stella’s Sunday Service instead. Every Sunday night, the restaurant hosts a different non-profit and donates 10% of the dinner sales to that group. To date, Stella has donated over $20,000 to local charities.