Tidbits: Gingerbread Sundae

It was October 1999, and Prince was nowhere in sight. There I was, loafing on one of the banquettes at Stephanie’s on Newbury which, at the time, had cornered the local sophisticated-comfort-food market. It wasn’t full-on holiday season yet, but something faced me down from the menu nonetheless: a gingerbread sundae. It came as a moist square of densely flavored but fluffy-textured gingerbread cake, drizzled with both hot fudge and caramel sauce, and crowned with a perfect scoop of gingersnap-molasses ice cream. I tasted and devoured it with barely a breathe in between. And I went back for it every month or so thereafter.

And then, with zero warning, it disappeared from the menu. Like a crack dealer who had just given up his career and started selling flatscreens, Stephanie’s pulled it out from under me. I had the shakes for weeks. For years, I went without.

And here I venture back in last month, and what do I find? It’s back — in all its glory, with more caramel sauce than ever. Springtime may be even farther away from the holidays than October, but this is one dessert that’s evergreen. Hallelujah.

Stephanie’s On Newbury, 190 Newbury St., Boston, 617-236-0990, stephaniesonnewbury.com.