Thanks to all who contributed to my decision to dine at the Franklin Cafe on my one night in Boston a week ago (I'm not sure how much easier you made things but at least I felt supported in my dilemma! And while I really did appreciate the defense against CTer's interpretation of my bind, I should also say that I've benefited from CTer's suggestions on other boards in the past, so I owe her/him one).
Franklin turned out to be the right choice because after struggling through the storms and traffic snarls on Friday the 2d (me) and flying in from LA (him) we both felt like a walk. We went to Troquet first, looking forward to an aperitif or two because I assumed, foolishly as it turned out that a restaurant wine bar would have-- what else?-- a wine bar. Instead we found a cute spot that has probably been reviewed here in the past but I've missed it: Dish. We popped in for a drink at the bar and a peek at the menu. I was dying for something sparkling, per usual, so I had a Pop. It would have been nice if they had a broader selection by the glass, perhaps cava given their ibero-suasion-- although I don't like cava and Pop's not a bad single choice. We shared an appetizer calamari which was billed as Spanish-style or something mediterranean, but tasted of lemongrass and chilis. It was ok, but we weren't so convinced that we didn't decide to head out to Franklin for the main course.
It was, as we were warned, packed, loud, dark, and the rest room floor was wet with urine. As one poster put it: just what we were looking for!
We managed two seats at the bar, a veal chop with shiitakes and mashed potatoes (him) and a sea bass (me). They were big, fresh, well-seasoned, four-square plates of post-1980s American food and at 11:00 after a day of only a handful of popcorn (me) they were perfect.
Next day lunch at Harvest was a mistake I made for the second time after vowing not to return after a lunch some five or six years ago. The patio was nice but service was slow as mud and the caesar salad was limp under a pile of dressing that kept me queasy for the rest of the day. His hamburger was good and the pickle was great, but all in all I don't think the place is worth it.
We continued on from Boston to Maine and Cape Cod and I'll be posting more on that later on the general NE board.