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If the Franklin Cafe took reservations...

  • b

... it would be called?

I'm looking for something along the lines of the Franklin for Friday or Saturday night, but would prefer to go someplace that takes reservations. To give you an idea, my other favorites include Union, Oleana, Central Kitchen, the bar at Chez Henri, Green Street (circa 2002-2004), Cragie Street etc.

From reading the board (I've been away from Boston for a while) Eastern Standard, Grotto and Gargoyles seem interesting, but I'd prefer a smaller, less formal space (preferably where jeans are acceptable.)

On a related point: We're avoiding Valentine's Day for eating out, but it has occured to me that others may have the same idea. Is this weekend going to be a mob scene with all of the people too smart to go out tonight? If so, which night do you suppose will be the calmer of the two?
Thanks for your help!

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  1. I'd suggest the Blue Room, but considering the other nearby places you mention, I'm inferring you may know it and not care for it.

    Blue Room is funny that way; while it's not exactly a love it/hate it kind of place, it certainly seems to be a love it/don't care about it kind of place. Not sure exactly why this is, but for every person I meet who raves about it, I meet someone else who just doesn't see what the big deal is. Personally, I love the food, but have had some less-than-stellar service experiences when they're overcrowded.

    Regardless, they certainly take reservations, and you'll be fine in jeans.

    1. Grotto is definitely small and not very formal. You can certainly wear jeans there, as well as at ES and Gargoyle's. I really like all three places but of the three, Grotto is the most cozy and charming to me.

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      1. re: lissy

        Agreed. I think ES is most like Franklin as far as a sceney feel, food is pretty different tho. Gargoyle's is interesting and while they take reservations, most people enjoy the bar area more where there are no reservations. Not sure if Columbus Cafe takes reservations, they have their good points and a pretty interesting reasonable menu. DBar in Dorchester is good, maybe off the beaten track for you. Alchemist in JP, again not sure about the reservation policy.

      2. i'll add rendezvous. i also really like lala rokh, except for the too bright lighting.

        this friday is the start of a long weekend so shouldn't be a mob scene wherever you try to go.

        1. You might also like Ten Tables. Small, informal, great food, and they take reservations

          1. I wonder if slush-driven V-Day cancellations will end up crowding restaurants this weekend. It's pretty unfortunate timing for the first real storm of this winter.

            Many places I credit with Franklin-like characteristics -- great cocktails, good budget-friendly food, a cool crowd and vibe -- don't take reservations. Here are a few restaurants I like where jeans are acceptable and the food is mid-priced and worthy. Rendezvous, Grotto, Tremont 647, Eastern Standard (though I don't like dining anywhere but at the bar), Gargoyles, Laurel, Les Zyg, Masona Grill, dbar, Ashmont Grill, Addis Red Sea.