Review: Trina's Starlite Lounge

Unorthodox goodness shining through the dark
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  July 6, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

The more typical gastropub platter, "Pork X2" ($15), is too fussy, with a small square of slow-cooked pork belly on a bed of sautéed greens on one side, and a carefully cylindrical patty of "pulled pork cake" on the other, with only a few spiced carrots (the best part) to add color. I preferred the "blue plate special" (plate not blue) of grilled chicken breasts ($14) topped with fresh mozzarella, drizzled with balsamic, touched up underneath with sunflower-basil pesto, fusilli pasta, and "heirloom tomatoes."

Among the beers on tap is Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout ($5) out of Maine, a dry stout, even drier than Murphy's, with lots of malty, toasty, chocolate notes and a nice head. Notch session pilsner ($5) was unfiltered and not quite clean at the finish, but fine with food. The wine list is short but interesting, but bring your own glasses. The small stemware used at Trina's is no better than a water glass for collecting aroma, almost completely concealing the virtues of 2009 Pascual Toso malbec ($8/glass), which showed thin red fruit over bare alcohol in this glass. The 2008 La Poule Blanche ($8) is a French country white with an unusual blend of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and viognier. If you could smell it, it might be drier version of Caymus Conundrum at not much more than half the price. In these little glasses, though, it is a somewhat harsh and tart wine.

For dessert, Trina's has one "seasonal pie" at time. Over my visits there was lemonade pie ($5) — a good, messy lemon-cream pie — and a custard pie ($5), topped with strawberries and real whipped cream. Service is quite good. Trina's does not take reservations, but is large and dark and hard enough to find that I had no problems walking in early or late on weeknights.

Trina's Starlite Lounge, located at 3 Beacon Street in Somerville, is open daily from 5 pm-12 am. Brunch is served on Mondays from 12-4 pm.

Robert Nadeau can be reached at robtnadeau@aol.com.

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