By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer Published Apr 18, 2017 at 12:06 PM

The Westin Hotel, at 550 N. Van Buren St., is taking shape in preparation for its opening during the first week in June. Among its spiffs will be Stella Van Buren, a new modern Italian-American steakhouse.

The restaurant concept, a collaboration between Lettuce Entertain You Consulting Group and White Lodging Corporation, will combine the flavors of a classic Italian kitchen with American steakhouse influences in a bright, modern space with floor-to-ceiling windows and impressive city views. All told, the restaurant will eat about 180, with an additional 50 seats at the bar.

The menu, which will be executed by Chef Justin Winkler, combines comforting selections including slow-cooked meats; fresh seafood; flavorful house-made pasta dishes like baked rigatoni carbonara featuring parmesan cream, fennel sausage, snap pea, runny egg; and Midwest-sourced prime steaks cooked on an infrared grill.

The bar will feature a meticulously curated selection of bourbon, Wisconsin-based draft beer and an extensive wine list focused on both Italian and American varietals.

"Food is serious business in Milwaukee. As a fellow Milwaukeean, I acknowledge that the locals have a passion for great food and appreciate a comfortable and fashion forward atmosphere," notes Chris Anderson, senior vice president and chief revenue officer, White Lodging. "Our goal with Stella Van Buren is to create a restaurant that fills a void and adds a big city experience with an environment that makes any occasion memorable."

For more information, follow Stella Van Buren on Facebook.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer

Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.

Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon. 

Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.