I’ve already been to Stephi’s three times. You would think that I just love it and can’t get enough, but that isn’t exactly the case. I love Stephanie’s on Newbury and have been going there since I was a little girl. I’ve also been to Stephi’s on Tremont, which I equally enjoy. These restaurants are the perfect Boston go-to. Pretty much a local institution, they are known for an easy menu, good tasting food, and a general nice feel. Stephi’s in Southie has all these things, but their service is sincerely lacking. I know they are trying and the restaurant is just a few weeks old, but these guys should be old pros by now. I’ve tried dinner, lunch, and brunch. I’ll get into the details. Dinner: Our first and favorite venture. I went with my husband after a long week of work travel to have a belated birthday celebration. We arrived late to our reservation and had a wait a few minutes. This wasn’t a problem for us, it was a busy Thursday night and, we were late. We were actually glad to see that the restaurant and bar were so crowded. The only issue was that the host never let us know how long our wait would be. We were left wondering – enough for a drink at the bar or just a minute or two? After about 5 minutes went by and we were sort of standing around like idiots, we just asked. A few minutes later we were escorted to our seat where a friend of mine had arranged for a bottle of champagne on the table as a birthday surprise. What a treat! While we enjoyed our champagne, it took us some time to decide on what to order. We were starving so asked for the mac and cheese side and meatball starter to share. The food was delicious, and our service was quite good. My only complaint on the food itself was the options. With a bunch of starters, sides, and shared plates, we struggled with the entrees themselves. A few more options might be nice!
Lunch: We dropped in for lunch a few weeks ago when my parents were in town visiting. They love Stephanie’s and were excited to give their new shop a try. It was good. My mother had the Chicken Salad, a Back Bay classic. I had an amazing ham, cheese, and pineapple sandwich. Our food was good but our waitress could have been better. When we wanted to order, get more drinks, or have the check, she was standing in the back of the restaurant not at all paying attention to her patrons. It didn’t ruin our lunch but the restaurant wasn’t particularly crowded, so it was just a little frustrating. Brunch: I had a friend in town and we met for brunch at Stephi’s because it was a convenient location and everyone always loves it. Well, we were really disappointed. We sat down, checked out the menu and were immediately approached by the same waitress I’d had previously for lunch. We just sat down and she was encouraging us to order drinks and appetizers. We weren’t ready, which wasn’t her fault- but she came back one minute later and asked the same question- almost as if she didn’t remember coming over the first time! She didn’t actually come back for about ten more minutes. At this point, she asked us what we wanted to drink. My friends ordered Bloody Marys, which they were very excited about. We were also ready to order our brunch. The waitress disappeared before we even had a chance to tell her this, and came back about fifteen minutes later with our drinks. Finally, we ordered. I requested an alteration to the menu which I understand can be confusing – but she seemed to understand. When our food came, my dish was completely wrong. My friends and I tried to get her attention for about ten more minutes, and when she finally came over she had no idea what was wrong. I ordered the Salmon Benedict with ham instead of Salmon (I liked the preparation better than the traditional bennie). I received a bagel with cream cheese, onions, capers, and ham. Not even close. Just clearly a dish that normally has salmon. I explained again I wanted the Salmon Benedict without the salmon, and again, she seemed to understand. She took my plate and after about five minutes, a man who I believe was the manager walked by and asked where my food was. I explained there was a mix up and he went to the kitchen and emerged with my meal- however it obviously contained salmon and it was also cold. At this point, I was tired of complaining so I just removed the salmon and ate what I could. But who likes cold eggs? When our waitress finally came back to clear our plate, never acknowledging she neglected to bring my proper meal or checking in to see how everything was, she asked why I didn’t say anything about the salmon. Because you never checked in on us! Anyways, she told me my dish would be removed from the bill, and then she finally brought the bill. The dish was not removed. After this, my friend had had it, she went up to the supposed manager and explained the situation. He had a new bill in his hand and had no idea why our waitress brought us the wrong one. At least the dish was actually removed!
To make a long story short – Stephi’s in Southie- I know you are good, but get it together! I really want to keep going back to you, but you have to be better. You are nice and trying and let me take lots of candy from your candy bins, but sometimes that not enough. I realIy don’t want a spacey waitress and I certainly don’t want cold eggs! You are too pricey for this and I just know you are better then this!