Had met some friends at the B-Side by accident a few days ago, were rhapsodizing on how much we all love it, conversation naturally wandered to our favorite bars with great food. I mentioned the Franklin, about which my friends had heard great things but had never quite made it to, it being on the Boston side of the river and all.
Met them tonight, had a perfectly-made cocktail at the bar, got seated almost immediately (rare on a Thursday night), proceeded to have a typically lovely meal: generous grilled calamari app with white beans and nice greens and a buttery sauce; superb baby-spinach salads; a weird spiedini (not on a skewer as I expected, but served as large flat rectangles of sausage and bread, nevertheless quite delicious); an entree of beautifully-sauced pork sirloin. Very nicely priced bottle of Venetian white, the usual very attentive, friendly service.
Had a nice conversation with another couple sitting nearby at the bar, for whom it was also their first visit (my advice: don't get an app and an entree unless you're really hungry). My friends loved it; I'm sure they will be back soon on their own.
This remains one of my indispensable places in town. Our challenge is to not go back so often we get bored with it. Luckily, the menu seems to change incrementally every few weeks -- and there's always an interesting special -- so it's hard to eat your way through it even with regular visits. It's even finer, on that once in a great while, when you hit a window where you don't have to fight crowds to get seated for dinner (though we go even when we have to wait.)