Stephanie’s on Newbury, the sprawling eatery with the grand sidewalk patio that’s always packed in summer, opened in the Back Bay in 1994. Its continued success marks a remarkable tenure in the restaurant world. In 2009, owner and namesake Stephanie Sokolove added Stephi’s on Tremont and, just this month, added Stephi’s in Southie to the roster.
It would appear that it’s a welcome addition to South Boston’s restaurant scene, as the mod orange and white open-plan bar and dining room was packed with cheery diners and drinkers just a week after opening.
Executive chef Corey Comeau, who’s been with the company for more than a decade and is a Food Network “Chopped” winner, creates all of the restaurants’ menus. The dishes here are comfortingly familiar: fish and chips, meatballs, roast chicken, and, of course, the mighty burger. Comeau takes a light, modern approach.
And he does fantastic things with vegetables. There’s no trickery, he doesn’t mask the veggies with heavy sauces or cheese. Instead, he gently enhances their natural flavor. His catchall entrée salad is something that Stephanie’s groupies go online to coo about. One salad stands out: a pile of bitter leaves tossed with mandarin orange segments and a ginger vinaigrette, with grilled fennel, beets roasted with a touch of sesame and almond-crusted goat cheese croquettes.
Among the sides, the slow roasted cauliflower served with tomato lightly rendered in olive oil, is astoundingly flavorsome. Middle Eastern style quinoa is topped with sticky dates, a drizzle of honey and thick slices of roasted butternut squash. Yet, it isn’t over-sweet. Comeau says he’s been obsessed with quinoa since 1994.
“I was ahead of the curve on something that’s thousands of years old,” he quips about the ancient grain. On the money, we’d say.
If you go
130 Dorchester Ave., Boston.
Entrees: $15 - $22