The boyfriend was in town and I took advantage of having another adventurous food lover around.
Finally made it to the much touted Franklin Cafe. Arrived there around 8:15 on Friday and the host told us 5 minutes for a table (bar scene quite light for the eve)! We couldn't believe our luck...and we shouldn't have because she seated a couple before us that came later because she hadn't taken my name and mixed us up. My initial annoyance was mitigated by lovely, affordable cocktails and music straight out of my boyfriend's vinyl collection.
After being seated 45 minutes after we were told 5, we snacked on the rustic italian bread with garlicky bean dip. We ordered the starter of roasted mussels ($8) that gave us sweet bivalves with delicately salted shells and lemon-butter on the side to dip the tasty guys. The app and dinner were paired with a relatively affordable Barbera D'Alba ($28). The boy ordered the special stuffed pork tenderloin filled with pecorino and pine nuts resting on top roasted red potatoes ($18). Robust with flavor and appealing to those who like meat and potatoes but with a fine palate. I had the rib eye with truffle glaze and chive mashed potatoes atop a slice of an heirloom tomato ($19), cooked tender and juicy. A perfect amount of food with the right balance of flavor and mouth feel.
Saturday I made my first trip to Sea To You and had a sushi party for 10. Bought chu-toro, maguro, hamachi, wasabi roe, hijiki ginger salad and picked ginger (the freshest i ever had!) for $21.65. I added edamame, miso soup, unagi and mixed up some spicy tuna from a portion of the maguro. My party of 10 ate their hearts out, and I still fed 4 the next day with fresh rolls from the leftovers. Best sushi deal ever.
Oh yeah, finally pinned down a cheapy diner nearby like the ones I enjoyed in New York. The Mass Ave restaurant two doors down from Plough and Stars in Cambridge serves diner quality food at diner prices. Read: two eggs, home fries, corned beef hash, two pancakes and coffee for $4.95. Can't beat that.