Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area

Franklin Cafe, South End, Boston

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Restaurants & Bars 3

Franklin Cafe, South End, Boston

Limster | Apr 23, 2003 12:04 AM

The hummus served with some spongy bread is so straightforward that one could finesse every flavour: chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic.

With a pile of sharp clear green, lovely white beans and a tangy dressing (good breath of lemon!), the grilled calamari is almost wonderful; perhaps less than a minute more on the grill and it would have been that perfect compromise of snap and tenderness. As it was, it was just a tad too crunchy and tough. Still, it reminded me of Delfina's superlative version and how much I missed it.

The lamb chop is decent, and the flavour combinations in this dish are well conceived, with tangy chunks of tomato playing off the lamb, a deep red amid the white yellow of what seemed like little round bits of pasta. Good sauce too, probably pan juices fortified with herbs and perhaps wine or vinegar.

I'm glad the place was lively and abuzz with moderately loud chatter because it gave me the cover and licence to carefully pick off the last bits of meat close to the bone on the lamb chops as I held in my fingers each chop by the tip of bone. The meat close to the bone had the best flavour and texture. However, The rest of the lamb chop varied. It was cooked to a warm rosy shade, aptly touched with black pepper and salt and other nice flavours, but it was tough and chewy in spots.

The flaws are somewhat forgiveable given the slightly gentle prices (entrees in the mid to high teens) and the helpful and agreeable service from the bartender. On the whole, a good not great experience.

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