BF and I decided to go out to dinner last night and we have been craving a return trip to the Franklin Cafe in the South End, so we headed over around 6:00. When we arrived it was busy but we were offered a booth immediately and sat right down. It's a good thing that we got there when we did, as every table and all bar seats were full just fifteen minutes later!
We ordered a bottle of 2008 cruz andina malbec that was mid-bodied, smooth and earthy. Our server (Kiko) was very attentive throughout the night and made sure to top off our wine glasses frequently, Moving on, BF started with the sweet potato gnocchi and I had pork sparerib dumplings. The gnocchi were perfectly chewy without being mushy, and they were served in a grafton cheddar fondue. Thankfully, the gnocchi were not slathered in cheese Phantom Gourmet style, because I think they were delicate enough that they would have been overwhelmed by too much cheese, but the ratio of gnocchi to cheese was perfect and really highlighted each part's flavors. My spare rib dumplings were also wonderful, served in a sticky-sweet chili sauce and garnished with shredded scallions. The dumplings were nicely cooked and we truly could have eaten these all night, so I highly recommend them if you are looking for a unique appetizer.
For entrees, BF chose the sweet and sour glazed salmon served with braised bok choy and a fried ginger salad on top. This dish really stood out, with a perfectly cooked piece of salmon, a well-balanced sweet and sour glaze, the crisp of the fried ginger, and some lovely sauteed shitake mushrooms. We will certainly return for this dish. For my entree, I had the sauteed local sole with a pomegranate buerre blanc and wilted kale, which was also a very well put together dish. The fish was not overcooked in the slightest, which I find can be a problem when ordering sole, and the buerre blanc retained just enough of the sweetness and tang of the pomegranate to really complement the fish nicely. We stayed for another half an hour or so after eating so that we could finish our bottle of wine and our server did not make us feel rushed in the slightest. Overall, the meal was fantastic and very reasonably priced. I can't wait to go back again, maybe my New Year's Resolution should be to dine at the Franklin Cafe once a month.
278 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118