Stella's Restaurant may have been a Lubbock staple, but Parma Ristorante Italiano (4646 50th Street) promises to take that torch to even loftier heights.

I spoke with Chef Eric Cowan, one of the two co-owners, about his vision for the new eatery. The following is paraphrased from our phone conversation:

We [Eric Cowan & Pierre Gabelli] wanted to bring authentic and affordable Italian food to Lubbock. We are upscale as far as the quality of the food and service but we offer family-friendly prices.

We have steaks, seafood, pasta, pizzas. Many of our sauces are made in the pan with the dish- and everything is from scratch.

It no longer looks like Stella's on the inside- it's been repainted, new chairs, new upholstery, and the bar area is brighter.

We have a full bar and very soon we'll have Italian wines that we've recently approved.

Our lunch specials are $11.95 for everything on the lunch menu and bar specials every day during happy hour.

Congratulations to Chefs Eric & Pierre on their new culinary adventure. My stomach is grumbling in anticipation of trying their authentic (and affordable!) Italian fare.

You can check out their menu, specials and more on their official website.