Restaurant review: Stephanie’s on Newbury (brunch)

Continuing to celebrate Allison‘s birthday, on Sunday we had brunch with another group of friends.  This time we went to Stephanie’s on Newbury.  We’d been there before several times, including for brunch, and of course it’s always very busy.

I understand why it’s busy: the food is generally very good, the prices are OK (not cheap, but not horrible), and the location is absolutely amazing.  Service is spotty, although Sunday was very good, especially given the large size of our group.
What irks me about Stephanie’s is that I always seem to have to wait 15 minutes beyond my reservation time for a table.  For groups, they are very inflexible about seating you before everyone is there.  We had literally 19 out of 20 people there, but no, that was not enough.  Not cool.
Then they took a long time to arrange our table, although I had arranged this about a month earlier, re-confirmed the day before in person, and was assured everything would be ready in time.  Moreover, they repeatedly told me to make sure our party was (all) there on time, or they wouldn’t hold the table.  Then when we were all there on time, it took another 20-30 minutes to get things ready.
But the food was good, service very good, atmosphere great, and I think people had a good time.  Just don’t count on getting a table close to your reservation time.