Bar to Bar Through Beantown
“Stephanie’s is somewhat fancy pants and is a hot spot on Newbury Street, offering some sophisticated dishes and (mostly) delicious cocktails.”
Neighborhood: Back Bay
Address: 190 Newbury Street
Date of Visit: Friday, December 2 , 2011
Server Name: Lisa B.
The second stop on our Martini Stroll in honor of Martini Week (Sponsored by Bombay Gin), we went to Stephanie’s on Newbury. Their martini, the Mistle Toe, benefited the Greater Boston Food Bank. Stephanie’s is somewhat fancy pants and is a hot spot on Newbury Street, offering some sophisticated dishes and (mostly) delicious cocktails. We first stopped at Stephanie’s before going to the Charlesmark, around 8pm on Friday, and the bar area was packed so we decided to come back later – at about 9:30 it was much better and we opted to be seated at a table since we had a larger party. They were all decked out for the holidays, with white lights all over the restaurant, and a large holiday scene in the sitting area by the lobby. During the warmer months, they have a patio right onto Newbury street that provides prime people watching. Another thing to note is that their bread basket includes raisin scones – yum!
Valerie’s Drink of Choice: Pecan Pie
Ingredients: Maker’s Mark bourbon, house made pecan syrup and coffee with a caramel and pecan rim topped with whipped cream
Review: Normally I am not a fan of bourbon, and by not a fan, I mean I don’t like it at all. However, the Pecan Pie sounded too appealing to pass it up. I was pleasantly surprised that the bourbon was well masked by the other yummy and warm flavors. You can taste the alcohol but it it did not have a distinct bourbon flavor. The rim on this drink was delicious – reminiscent of the topping on a candy apple. With the warm mug, however, the nuts tended to slide down the side of the glass (as you can see in the picture) making it a messy and sticky concoction. The other downside of this drink, although very good, was that it didn’t necessarily taste like pecan pie! The coffee to pecan syrup ratio could have been skewed more in the pecan side to make it have more of that pie flavor. This would be a great drink to have on a cold winter night, however, the restaurant was so warm inside that I didn’t even need it.
Eric’s Drink of Choice: Mistle Toe
Ingredients: Bombay Sapphire Gin, candy peppermint syrup, organic cranberry liqueur, cava rose
Review: The Mistle Toe was an easy selection for me, as it benefited the Greater Boston Food Bank and was featured as the signature drink on our Martini Stroll. Though the drink had a candy cane garnish and had peppermint syrup, the cocktail was not overwhelmingly peppermint-y. The organic cranberry liqueur paired well with the light and refreshing bubbliness of the cava rose. Though this wasn’t a drink I’d order all the time (it was a bit too sweet for my palate), it was a nice change from the more traditional cocktails I fancy; in fact, I could barely tell that the signature spirit was gin!
Guest Blogger Greg B’s Drink of Choice: Hot N Dirty
Ingredients: Belvedere unfiltered vodka, house made spicy green beans
Review: Do you ever go out for drinks with friends, look over a cocktail menu, and your eyes inevitably land on one drink which makes you ask, out loud, “What? Who in their right mind would ever drink that?” Apparently, after the disappointment at the Charlesmark, I became the person who orders that drink, just to prove a point. And what a point it was. The “Hot ‘n’ Dirty” is Belvedere unfiltered vodka and spicy green beans. The end. There’s really not much I can say about this since I imagine most of the readers out there are already horrified. However, having lived through the experience, I am here to share with you.. if your idea of an enjoyable drink is someone mixing vodka with the leftover juice from a can of green beans, that also kind of tastes a little bit like salt water, then this is the drink for you. Listen, I know I don’t know much about martinis, and this would probably be perfectly lovely for someone who likes that kind of thing, but for me — ordering the Hot ‘n’ Dirty was right up there among some of the worst decisions I’ve ever made in my life. In Conclusion, when people ask me what I like to drink, I generally recite a Karen Walker quote from Will & Grace: “Honey, I’d suck the alcohol out of a deodorant stick.” Last night, I should have just gone around the corner and picked up some Degree instead.
Wine Prices: Red, white, and sparkling wines available by the glass from $8 to $16, the half bottle from $18 to $55 (more for champagne), and by the bottle from $36 to $92. Two rose varieties available by the bottle as well.
Beer Prices: Six beers on tap from $5.50 to $6.50. Local, craft, imported and domestic beers available by the bottle/can for $5 to $14 dollars – thirty six varieties total.
Other: Stephanie’s on Newbury has a great seasonal cocktail menu, including eight signature martinis for $13 each, with festive libations such as Pumpkin Chuckin, and Candy Corn. They also have six Winter Warm-ups for $12 each which are made with coffee or hot water, including a Blueberry Muffin (which a friend had and was delicious!), a Tropical Toddy, and the above Pecan Pie. Finally, they have a Signature Classic’s menu which is available year round also for $12 each, including a sidecar, a new fashioned, and a mule rossa.
Stephanie’s signature martini menu is available online, here.