Upon being seated I immediately took note of the fun salt and pepper grinders at my table. My waiter, who introduced himself as Travis, did an excellent job. No complaints in the service department. My drink and entree were delivered at rapid speed. I decided on a signature martini to start things off.No, this is not a Cosmo. That's not how I roll. This potent creation would be a Tea Party ($12) - a Boston Tea Party at that, made with Absolut Boston, blood orange, lemon and iced tea. I get excited to see Absolut Boston on specialty drink menus as I just love the flavor infusions of black tea and elderflower. The martini might look like liquid candy but I assure you, it was only a tad sweet. Plus, I had a nice buzz after lunch.
The buzz was likely also in part to my light entree choice. I ordered the Ahi Tuna Tartare ($13) boasting sashimi grade tuna served with sesame poached tomatoes, whipped avocado, chipotle chili soy sauce, spicy mayonnaise and lime vinaigrette.The silky whipped avocado was spread a top smooth compact tuna that sat on a vibrant lime vinaigrette, swirled with chipotle chili soy sauce and topped with dollops of spicy mayo. The avocado layer looks rather thin, but it permeated flavor throughout the entire bed of sashimi. Speaking of flavor, those emulsions added layer upon layer of it to the dish. They were absolutely brilliant together.
The side of wonton chips were a pleasant surprise. They were served warm sprinkled with sesame seeds. The light and airy texture played nicely off their rich and buttery taste.When the group next to me finished up, I snapped a picture or two.Stephi's is clean and comfortable with floor to ceiling windows, off white wood paneling, large globe chandeliers and chocolate leather seating. The booth backs are upholstered in a warm colored olive, burnt orange, mustard yellow and red flower patterned fabric. On the wall across from me hung a three framed black and white photo montage of Stephanie's on Newbury. I thought it was a subtle and classy way to pay homage to the original.
For sophisticated comfort food and classy cocktails in the South End, Stephi's on Tremont certainly impressed. I would definitely need to sample more of the menu to make a truly informed recommendation, but from my experience so far, I'd say she's worth checking out.