Osteria Stella, the sister restaurant and housed parallel to Brother Wolf in Downtown Knoxville, TN are both concepts conjured up by duo Aaron Thompson and Jessica “Rabbit” King.
A love letter to their daughter, Osteria Stella offers an authentic Italian culinary experience with the help of Chef Consultant Amalia Brusati, a Milan native, and Chef de Cuisine Salvador Sanchez. Their focus is simplicity in their ingredients and dishes, and the availability to pair these with an extensive selection of native Italian wines spanning across all 20 wine regions. The space was inspired by their baby daughter, Stella, and it is the couple’s love letter to her.
In direct contrast to Brother Wolf, Osteria Stella is described by King as being “dark, cool, moody, and very comforting,” and a heavy hammered leather curtain separates the two spaces. “The accents are antique gaudy chandeliers that line the ceiling, and it’s all about contrast. Big, comfy, velvet and leather booths with cherrywood tables inhabit the space, and as you look towards the back of the restaurant, you see three very feminine paintings in what could be considered a super masculine space.” Guests can expect to feel relaxed, warm and snuggly. “They can scooch back and forget about the world outside while enjoying a great meal and glass of wine,” exclaims King.
The Brother Wolf menu is available here, but fine dining Italian and wine is the focus. Thompson, who curated the wine list, favors family-owned wineries that produce less than 100,000 cases, and in most instances, under 20,000, with female-led operations spotlighted, where possible. The wine list represents a definitive selection of producers representing each of Italy’s regions, with bottles ranging from $35 to $980 and by-the-glass from $10 to $45, including premium selections via Coravin. Some of the regions include Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Basilicata, Lombardia, Marche, Sicilia, and Abruzzo.