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When a link in a chain is replaced by a locally owned establishment, it’s always good news. And that is certainly the case with the new Station Square Kitchen & Bar in Troy.

  The free-standing building that formerly housed Papa Vino’s is now in the hands of Anton and Jennifer Lukaj, Anton’s father George, and their friend Agron Bardhi, who have put together an appealing place with an emphasis on friendly service.

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  The wide-ranging, all-day menu includes pizzas, pastas and sandwiches on the casual side, but ranges upward to lamb chops and filet mignon. And not so incidentally, the filet is affordably priced at $32, the top of the price list.

  It’s casually attractive, with a central dining room with nicely spaced tables and understated décor featuring dark wood accented by brushed nickel bands. It’s flanked by a second dining area and a separate bar so that it seems cozier than its 240 capacity might suggest. There’s also a spacious patio.

  Happily for the proprietors, they were able to snag a highly experienced chef, Chris Hessler, who joined them from his most recent post at the Kruse and Muer restaurants. He has put together a menu that offers diners lots of options, from a simple prime burger to more elaborate fish, seafood and beef dishes.

Good service by a professional crew and better-than-average wine and beer lists add to the appeal, as does the fact that one or another of the proprietors is usually on hand looking out for their patrons.

   Appetizers include a chunky and well-seasoned gazpacho, one of two soups, avocado toast on housemade bread and pork belly tostados. Notable main dishes range from crisp Parmesan-encrusted sole accompanied by an attractive garnish of arugula, frisee and fennel, shrimp-and-crab stuffed chicken with red pepper sauce, and tender and meaty beef ribs.  Many of the main dishes include mashed potatoes and asparagus, and there are several a la carte sides, including truffle and Parmesan fries, each $4.

    Desserts include housemade carrot cake, admirably not too sweet in this white-frosted version, and there is also a summery waffle topped with ice cream and a mound of strawberries.

    This new spot has its finger on the pulse of local diners. It plans to add Sunday brunch to the options in the near future.

     abraham67@comcast.net

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Station Square Kitchen & Bar

Midtown Square Shopping Center

1317 Coolidge Hwy., Troy

(248) 458-3200

Rating: ★★ 1/2

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Wed., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun. Bar later.

Prices: Appetizers $8-$12, soups $5, salads $9-$15, burgers and sandwiches $11-$13, pastas $15-$20, mains $16-$32, desserts $6.

Credit cards: All major

Liquor: Full bar

Noise level: Moderate

Parking: Attached lot

Wheelchair access: No barriers

What the ratings mean

★ — routine ★★ — good ★★ 1/2 — very good

★★★ — excellent ★★★★ — outstanding

 

 

 

 

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