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Stars on Huntington
Eat Well for less
BY ELISABETH TOWNSEND

  PREVIOUS COLUMNS

" Nothing over $6, " touts the flyer promoting the refurbished Stars on Huntington. Could it really be true? And is the food good, too?

Once a pricey offspring of the Stars on Hingham Harbor, the new Stars is still a stylish, modern restaurant, bar, and lounge, but now itís also affordable. Snuggle into one of the sensuous magenta-suede built-in sofas. Sink into the shadows in the private room behind the bar for a tête-à-tête with your latest amour. Or perch on a stool at the stainless-steel bar for a birdís-eye view of a game on the four plasma-screen TVs. Even the bathrooms are showy, with trough-like sinks and frosted-glass stalls.

The menu is a combination of the best " stick to your ribs " items, says manager Noria Morales, from the family of Eat Well, Inc. restaurants owned by Ed Kane. Though the menu is short, Starsí cooks " do everything from scratch. "

Appetizers range from $2 for French fries to $4 for chicken wings, chicken fingers, and sweet íní spicy calamari. The most expensive main courses ($6) are the Southwestern chopped salad and the sweet Italian lasagna, rich with layers of mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan cheeses, Roma tomatoes, caramelized onions, and sweet Italian sausage, served with garlic bread. The hot-pressed smoked-turkey sandwich ($5) is a standout ó a Vienna roll full of smoked turkey, American cheese, tomatoes, pickles, mustard, and mayo. So is the unusual Baja fish flour-tortilla taco ($5), with batter-fried cod on a bed of chopped lettuce, grilled corn, casa aïoli, and cucumber salsa. Stars also serves daily homemade specials, including soup ($3), sandwich ($5), and a soup-and-half-sandwich combo ($4.50). And donít forget the $4 desserts: New YorkĖstyle cheesecake or molten chocolate cake with vanilla-bean ice cream. Drinks include nonalcoholic beer ($1.75), beer ($2Ė$3.25), and a limited wine selection ($4 glass/$15 bottle); a full liquor license is in the works.

This is a hidden gem you can afford regardless of your budget; hang for a few hours or swing through on your way to the symphony, museum, or theater, and enjoy the high-end décor and homemade comfort food at rock-bottom prices.

Stars on Huntington, located at 393 Huntington Street, in Boston, is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m.; on Friday, from noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 11 p.m.; and on Saturday, from noon to 11 p.m. The bar is open every night until 1 a.m. Call (617) 536-3232.

Issue Date: December 5 - 12, 2002
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