Friends of Short’s: Trattoria Stella

Loving what we do, where we live, with the people we love is Joe Short’s personal mission. Coincidentally, our friends at Trattoria Stella have modeled their business by similar values. With the aim to share our love for the Northern Michigan companies that we are lucky enough to know, today we feature this Northern Michigan gem.

STELLA6_TH_C_^_THUIQThe marketing team drove south, then a little west, to arrive at the sprawling yellow brick castle-like building of Traverse City. This is the historic, beautiful, and developing grounds of The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. This piece of land houses what was formerly known as the Traverse City State Hospital, and previously, the Northern Michigan Asylum. In a tucked away underground cavity of “Building 50” sits Trattoria Stella. The romantically cozy farm to table restaurant fills what once was the food cellar of the Asylum. The menu changes daily, and they source many ingredients from local farms to craft their uncomplicated interpretations of classic Italian plates.

Husband and wife team Amanda and Paul Danielson opened the restaurant in 2004 and their passion for hospitality cannot be ignored. Every detail of the Trattoria Stella experience is carefully thought through. They have not missed a beat. The lighting is elegant, the table settings are simply beautiful, and each staff member has an inviting smile and knowledge base that proves they are equally passionate about what they do, and the edibles they serve, as Amanda and Paul.

Once we were seated, the drink menu (more like a beverage bible) was presented and we flipped through the on-going pages of libation goodness. Each cocktail, wine selection, craft beer, tea, and coffee were tempting. We decided that a round of Stellar Ale was the best choice for our Trattoria Stella field trip. Stellar Ale is the beer that Joe Short brewed exclusively for Trattoria Stella 10 years ago, as the restaurant, like Short’s, was brand new to the Northern Michigan community. With a copper color, aromas of zesty grapefruit, and a refreshingly hoppy flavor, the Ale went down with ease.

Trattoria-StellaOnce the Short’s team was settled, Amanda stepped away from her duties to chat. After just a shake of her hand and a how do you do, it was obvious why the restaurant is so highly acclaimed. Her vivacious personality filled the table with laughter and energy. Stories of remodeling the arch-wayed cellar with a baby on the way were proof of an inner passion for creating what she loves, and always building upon it, that burned inside of her ten years ago, and continues to burn inside of her today. World travels that started in her early 20’s is when Amanda got the bug for consuming craft beverage and food knowledge wherever she could. There is no doubt that her work ethic, desire to serve quality responsibly sourced food, her never stop learning personality, and interest in passing along knowledge to her staff, is what separates Trattoria Stella from the crowd.

Trattoria Stella is celebrating their 10th Anniversary this spring, however, Amanda and Paul have no plans to take a break and celebrate! The dynamic duo are already on their way to opening a second establishment in downtown Traverse City. The restaurant will be called The Franklin, and is hoping to open its doors on May 12. I believe there needs to be another marketing team field trip in the near future!

Trattoria Stella, the Short’s team couldn’t be more proud to call you our Northern Michigan neighbor and friend. Cheers to 10 years and to 10 more!

Photo Credit: EatDrink TC and MLive