Style of food: Spanish/Mediterranean
Cost: Moderate
Type of place: Paladar (private)
Best for: Eating some of Havana’s best food at present. Consistently good, excellent service
Worst for: Doesn’t necessarily fit with the neighborhood. Too many different rooms
Calle 29 # 205 e/ B y C, Vedado
(+53)7830 - 0711
  • Starbien seems like it got lost on the way to market. This might be good or bad depending on your point of view. Located in a sleepy residential neighbourhood of Vedado in a two storey colonial house, Starbien has an update and modern feel, which seems a little out of sync with the neighbourhood. Historically, this was somewhere that was a meeting point, a gathering place. This was a tradition that was maintained during the construction, and there is still something of a community feel.

    There are various eating areas of which the large comfortable terrace outside is our pick. Upstairs there is a cute bar and lovely small terrace, which is perfect for sunset cocktails. The food is good without being spectacular. I liked the mixed board of tapas as an appetizer, especially the Serrano ham that was great. Main courses include your standard filet mignon as well as homemade spinach ravioli and stuffed peppers. Desserts were unavoidable once we had seen the neighbors’ chocolate torte (with dried fruit).

    The service was excellent and the manager/owner are young, dynamic and enthusiastic. The place is cool, although I still don’t get whether it is an implant to the area or something organic.

    Points rewards at Star Bien

    I love the efforts that some paladares are going to in order to distinguish themselves. Starbien, a lovely place in Vedado, has gone so far as to create a points reward system. The more you go and the more you spend, the more points you get and, of course, you can use those points for “free stuff” in the restaurant. I went back with some friends for lunch recently and we were informed that we had accumulated 35 points in our last two visits, which gives us enough money for two entrees or for a good bottle of wine. Rock on.

    May 2013

    The appetizers at Starbien

    What a pretty paladar this one is! I was there on a breezy afternoon with friends for appetizers and drinks. The place is very good looking, the staff is helpful and friendly and the food is fantastic. I have to acknowledge that we did not order any entrée, just appetizers, but all of them were great: we tried the blue cheese raviolis, the crab croquettes, the breaded fish sticks, and the cheese balls, among others. Everything was nice. Go and check it out!

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