La Stella’s Restaurant & Catering (Boca Raton)

Posted on March 11th, 2010 · Boca Raton Italian

La Stella’s Restaurant & Catering, 159 East Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton, Florida 33432 (561) 544-2081.

Just got back from eating dinner at La Stella’s…a 30 seat “mom & pop” Italian joint in Boca Raton. Wanna talk about mom-pop?… the lady owner is both waitress/bus-girl…same goes for a family guy-friend who is both waiter/bus-boy. You can check La Stella’s menu/prices/photos at

This evening my “selected” entree was chicken scarpiello (on the bone)—the dish was so loaded with cherry and fried peppers that it was borderline inedible. A guy at the next table, told me-he also thought that the chicken scarpiello was way-way too spicy and that he would need some Rolaids when he got home.

Lucky for me, “my table” also ordered—house salad, gnocchi, eggplant parmigiana, grilled chicken, meat-balls and fresh mozzarella flatbread—which I got to taste… all very good. So, in total—we had 7 dishes, 6 were just fine and 1-was a disaster, which is an .857 batting average.

Just so you know, I found the service to be super-friendly but amateurish…it sort of reminded me of children-stars Shirley Temple and Mickey Rooney “doing a show.” The portions were ok…but too pricey for what showed up. The entrees came with NOTHING…no salad, no pasta side…and get-this, no bread. That’s right, no BREAD. Humor me, take an hour or two…give me the name of the last Italian restaurant that you ate at that didn’t serve you garlic knots or garlic bread or any type of bread. Go for it, I’m looking forward to hearing from you guys.

Let’s sum La Stella’s up this way…a “no-liquor” $142 bill for 4 people was not a good deal. If the owner gets real-waiters, has garlic bread when you sit down, throws in soup or salad–and a pasta side with entrees, gets rid of those “peppers”—Jeff Eats will be back for a second go-round.

La Stella’s is open Tuesday-Saturday 5pm-10pm and Sunday 5pm-9pm.

167 Comments to “La Stella’s Restaurant & Catering (Boca Raton)”

  1. LS says...

    I wouldn’t recommend La Stella’s. No question on the bread, if you don’t ask, you aren’t offered any. Food is fair, nothing to get excited over. Service is very rookieish. The owner and her pal Karl are the entire staff. They aren’t very professional. One final thought, make sure you check your check as my party was charged for items we didn’t have by Karl. This restaurant is a waste of time.

  2. Elle says...

    I’ve eaten at La Stella’s once – No bread was served and when I asked for some, they told me they didn’t have any – Plus once I received my Amex bill – Karl had charged us for TWO bottles of vino, when we only consumed one. I’m not here to bash, just stating the facts.

  3. jl says...

    hi jeff eats. ( re your post of 3/20)

    a little sensitive aren’t we . not to mention a bit rude. i have a life, thank you. that wasn’t necessary.

    i never alleged that you receive favors or discounts from any restaurant. it’s just about the standard practice that restaurant reviewers don’t reveal themselves, in fact many disguise themselves if they are well-known.

    if this was so benign, why did you edit the post of MS when he mentioned that you introduced yourself as jeff eats? ( which you did, as you yourself concede).

    hey, this is not exactly watergate; just trying to keep things above board.

    you are entertaining and do good work, just need to remember the protocol.


  4. bp says...

    is this place out of business yet?
    i want to open a massage parlor in its location.
    why waste your hard earned money here when you can go right across the street and eat top food with top service at Matteo’s for the same money !!!

  5. jl says...

    the food stinks.
    over priced.
    service stinks.

  6. jk says...

    not too good.
    as the song says, walk on bye.
    i ate there with a few friends. like many of you no bread. crap service. fair food. no bargain prices.

  7. Jamie Barlow says...

    This is so comical. To bp- No, I am not out of business yet. We actually just expanded. Did someone want to buy my old furniture? And Elle, do you really expect anyone to believe that?
    Jeff, your fans are ruthless. Keep it coming!!!

  8. ed f says...

    ms barlow, i think that you will find that your partner KARL wrote some very rude remarks about Jeff Eats. what id o know is that Jeff Eats is smart enough to know whether or not he was offered bread with his meal or whether or not bread was even served. for your pal KARl to call Jeff Eats a liar about that is a no-no when it comes to us fans of this blog. i have always found Jeff Eats to call it as he sees it. i don’t always agree with his picks but he is a straight shooter 100%.

  9. Jamie Barlow says...

    Ed f-where did you come from? Karl Alterman did not lie-please google his name. As far as defending Jeff, I would love to agree with you. However, with that said, Jeff left Lastella that evening and wrote a completely different review then what you see posted. His oringinal review was full of compliments, etc. The next morning, I woke up and read the review that you see. Jeff and I share a mutual friend, that is actually how all this started. Why did he change his mind over night? This is the man you call a “straight shooter”? I ask this because, where I come from, this conversation wouldn’t even be taking place. FR- is that what you think I do is “play waitress?” I take care of my guests because I am happy to do so. And, its Mrs. Barlow, ed f. I think you should get your facts straight. With the help of my husband Lenny, I built a very successful catering business over the past 4 years. LaStellas Restaurant is the home for our catering business. I wish that both you and Jeff would stop in LaStella and give us another shot. And please know that it is because I feel really badly about this entire blog and would love nothing more then to make it right. And, I apologize if I offended you in any way. That was not my intention.

  10. ln says...

    this jamie barlow doth protest too much.
    you said no bread then it was no bread.
    ate at nino’s boca last night. great pizza and chicken breast and broccoli in garlic and oil.

  11. Jamie Barlow says...

    In-where did you come from? And I’m the one with friends that are defending me?!
    I hope you continue to go to Nino’s.
    And EZ, we serve WELL OVER 900 meals a month!!!!! Get your facts straight, please. And, Tanya, thank you-Gary and Pastrami Queen is soooo great! So is Casa D’ Angelo!
    Jk-I serve $8.00 pasta dishes from 5:00-7:00 everyday-this isn’t cheap enough for you?!
    I give up.
    Thank you again, Jeff.

  12. eddie says...

    dont waste time on places like this. try caruso’s which is 2 minute walk for great food. sun sentinel just gave it 4 stars,

  13. ggold says...

    Moved to east Boca 4 months ago. My wife and I go out to dinner alone 5 nights a week and with guests on the weekend. Not only do we love La Stella’s but our friends love it as well, Jamie is amazing and so is the rest of her staff. We have been to almost every restaurant in the neighborhood, many we will not step foot in again after trying the second time(we always give an independent a second chance). We loved La Stella’s the first time we went and the dozen or so times since. There is a warmth at La Stella’s not felt at any of the other restaurants we have been to. Jamie is extremely accomodating with a sincere passion for what she does and will do whatever possible to make sure you are satisfied. This is obvious by her request for Jeff to come back in. Jeff you enjoyed the food very much except for the chicken, my wife and I had the chicken the first time we went,Delicious chicken incredible sausage but yes it was spicy hot, to much for my wife but amazing to me. On our second visit my wife ordered the chicken and told Jamie to cut back on the peppers, my wife loved it and said it was the best in town. The bread and the soda issue were really your only other gripes, Guaranteed Jamie will not have that happen again, She has a stong passion for her business, is obsessed with customer satisfaction and is more than happy to make adjustments based on customer feedback. Very few new independents do Everything right , The independents who care learn from past mistakes and make possitive change. Jamie and Lenny’s La Stella will be our favorite neighborhood restaurant for many many years to come

    • yoyo says...

      i had that chicken dish and i got violently ill from it. i ca understand something being not good but to make you sick that’s a whole other story, don’t you think. i wouldn’t go back there even if you paid me.

  14. ggold says...

    Jeff , if you are going to associate Karl’s remarks with LaStella’s I find it appropriate to associate your dining companions remarks to you and your blog#25 MS

  15. Lenny X says...

    ggold, i dont think that you are following this story. KARL works at LaStella. So what he says has a direct bearing on the restaurant. Poster MS doesn’t work at La Stella’s nor does he work for Jeff Eats, nor from what I can is in any way associated with Jeff Eats. MS can say what he likes and Jeff would have no connection to MS’ thoughts whatsoever.

  16. ggold says...

    Lenny MS was dining with Jeff on the night of Jeffs visit

  17. linda says...

    Went to LaStella last night, It was superb
    Garlic or plain hot breads were offered and was delicious
    Eggplant Rollitini appetizer was sensational
    Grouper oreganato was the freshest and the best I’ve had and I was offered pasta, potatoes or vegetable with my entree
    Whole wheat pasta was cooked and prepared just right
    Key lime cake was huge and to die for
    Service was over the top

  18. Lenny X says...

    linda glad to see that La Stella’s learned from Jeff eats and is finally serving bread.

  19. linda says...

    Lenny based on the comments I see posted, they listened and reacted promply Even my moderately priced wine was served in an elegant carafe.

  20. Lenny X says...

    linda i have eaten at la stella’s. it’s okay but i wouldn’t be raving like crazy about it as you are. have you eaten at matteo’s which is in the same area? well if you hven’t that’s a top of line restaurant. same goes for casa de angelo which is on the same street as la stella’s.
    jeff just did a review on casa macaluso. i’ve been there and that’s a real good one. its sort of like la stella’s but the brothers run it really good. there are loads of good italian restaurants. try cafe vico in ft lauderdale. i could go on and on but don’t get stuck on la stella’s because it really is fair at best.

  21. linda says...

    thanks Lenny. I have eaten at Matteo’s and Casa D Angelo many times, nobody has better baked clams than Matteo’s but I do prefer the food at Casa De Angelo.

  22. Johnny F. says...

    Had dinner this past Saturday at the new Italin restaurant Capri in Boca. Very good and very busy. Had to wait 20 minutes for a table at 6:45pm. After dinner around 8:30pm walked by La Stella EMPTY.

  23. LKF says...

    I just had dinner at the 4 star Caruso’s the food was pretty good in fact Lastellas still has them beat on quality though. Any way the service if you want to call it that was the worst and i mean the worst people were walking out not getting there food and one party even left without paying not because the food was bad but becaues the waiter never presented a check after asking 4 or five times and 30 min later they just left…..I wont be back there 4 stars or not Lastellas is always consistant with food and service and that counts for alot in my book


  24. Jeff A. says...

    Who gives a F@@K about automatically getting bread at dinner? If you complain about not getting bread, as most of the comments I have seen here, you are from Boca Raton via NJ and are the biggest pain in the ass diners in south Florida, period!

  25. asw says...

    is this place still in business? ate dinner two nights ago at casa d angelo and la stella’s which is on same street was like a ghost town nobody was eating.
    by the way the new Capri a few blocks away is pretty decent.

  26. KW says...

    To La Stella’s Owner:

    Try Matteo’s which is 2 minutes away from you.
    After you eat the food and see how the restauarnt is run you will have some idea as to you what you should strive to accomplish at your restaurant.

  27. BOBBY says...

    Is this mess still open? Lousy service and food.

  28. GRF says...

    This morning the Sun Sentinel gave this restaurant 3 1/2 stars out of 4 stars. I have eaten at La Stella’s and this is a 3 1/2 star restaurant like I’m the Vice President of the United States and trust me I’m not Joe Biden. At best, the food and service are just passable.

    The Sun Sentinel has lost all credability with me. They must be desperate for adverisers.

  29. Mr. Donald says...

    hey jeff, like GRF i also read the sun sentinel’s friday review giving 3 1/2 stars, what a bad call by critic john tanasychk, then again this same guy in another review didn’t know that veal “chops” parmigiana existed until he had one at a nunzio’s awhile back.

    if you read the review, this critic says “…we settled on pan-roasted Pollo Scarpiello…The bone-in half chicken is just a bit spicy from fried peppers…”

    jeff, your review was spot on. you said that that the chicken scarpiello was too spicy because of the peppers. so i guess, barlow and all of her pals who bitched about your call are dead wrong in that the dish is too spicy. i also love the critic’s call that the joint is “Sophisticated but not pretentious.” and that service was “impeccable…” I’ve eaten there and the joint is a mom & pop unprofessional joint with amateurs and the owner playing waiter and waitress.
    Someone ought to take away this critic’s license.

  30. SAR says...

    3 1/2 ***
    What a J O K E !!!!!
    The Sun Sentinel should be ashamed of itself. Now some unsuspecting readers are going to run to La Stella’s thinking that they are in for an amazing meal. What a pity!!!!

  31. jg says...

    lika a dope i tried la stella’s.
    nothing special foodwise.
    service stinks.
    noise level horrendous.

  32. JJ says...

    The meal I had and the service I got sure don’t add up to a 3 1/2 star restaurant. Maybe 2 1/2 stars but an almost perfect 4 nooooo way.
    For the same money I’d rather eat at Cas D Angelo right down the street or Matteo’s across the street.

  33. JJ says...

    For those looking for the sleeeepppper, go to Augy’s on Boca Raton Blvd in Boca. Reasonable prices and really really good food.

  34. BTR says...

    I wouldn’t trust the Sun Sentinel ever again.
    3 1/2 STARS they must be smoking something.

  35. mr dandy says...

    is this craphole still open?
    if it is it shouldn’t be.

  36. Johnnie G. says...

    The food isn’t very good.
    The service is really amateurish.
    Don’t waste your money.

    • LJ says...

      Got to agree with you.
      Not a very good restaurant.

  37. DHG says...

    jeff, you got this joint pegged perfectly.
    my wife and i eat out at least 4x a week.
    we travel all over the area trying different restaurants.
    we ate in la stella’s about a year or so ago.
    it really is a little hole in the wall.
    a number of the tables are hitops and look to be not too comfortable.
    when we ate there i had that chicken scarpriello dish that you mentioned. it was not good. as a matter of fact it was one of the worst versions of that dish that i have ever had.
    the rest of the food was okay but nothing that i would consider very good.
    as i mentioned we eat in a lot of places but that chicken dish was so bad that i can recall it as if it was yesterday.
    there are many better italian restaurants in the area.

  38. nick says...

    jeff, this ONE is a JOKE. there are tons that are better.

  39. joe z says...

    ok. but nothing special.

    • junior says...

      so right, nothing to get excited about.

  40. mimo says...

    my cousins took me and my wife. small cramped restaurant. food is ok but not anything to run back for.

  41. doug says...

    jeff, found this review on yelp. never read a review like this one/
    Jay D.

    Boca Raton, FL
    8/10/2010 I’ve been a few times and experience / food was always average. There are so many superior places in town so it never became a favorite. The last time I ate there I was very, very concerned. It appeared that the hostess/waitress/owner was under the influence of something. I do NOT tolerate behavior like this and could never take my family back to such a place no matter what. I keep hearing similar experiences from folks around town. Take heed, guys. This place is small, it was very uncomfortable to be in this environment.

  42. ZIMBA says...

    Ate there once.
    Once was enough.

  43. Mike R. says...

    La JOKE!
    Enough said.

  44. chewy says...

    i dont care what others say, this restaurant is not good. try it and you’ll see that the service and food are hit and miss.

  45. olo says...

    laugh my ass off, anyone who thinks this place serves good food, doesn’t know what good ffod is all about,

  46. JKG says...

    Read the review and the comments, and my wife and I decided to go elsewhere.

    • Lisa B says...

      There are many brutal comments here and I have never experienced what others are claiming.
      Just my 2 cents – I have eaten there several times with my family. The food is consistent and VERY good, albeit a bit pricey for what you order. The staff has always been friendly and helpful and willing to accomodate any change requests. (I have 2 young, picky daughters).

      I am also using La Stella’s catering to augment my Christmas Eve dinner.

  47. Tollman says...

    The lady who owns this restaurant is a nut job. She is nasty to customers. Stay away.

  48. EK says...

    Jeff, I thought that the food was very good.

    • RONALD says...


  49. Cahill says...

    Didn’t like it.

  50. Rob Tannenbaum says...

    We used a Living Social discount.
    Food is fair.
    Service is fair.

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