Chef Surprise

The cozy café where the other chefs come to eat

frank2Photo: Morgan Ione Yeager

T

he entrance to Franklin Café reminds us of the wardrobe in Narnia. On one side of the door you’re on the street, standing beneath a sign with no name—just the simple outline of a martini glass. But push through the velvet curtain and you’re in a cozy land of great food, creative drinks, local beers, stylish patrons, and the chefs from other restaurants who know to come here after work. The modern American dishes vary depending on what ingredients are freshest, the menu changes seasonally except for a few popular mainstays, and all the entrees are under 20 bucks. Neighborhood regulars crowd the place (it’s small, so “crowd” is relative), but they like to keep it to themselves, and people from elsewhere in the city often seem never to have heard of it. They’re missing out. A full dinner menu is served until 1:30 a.m. (attracting the aforementioned chefs and other restaurant workers) and there are now also locations in South Boston and Gloucester.

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One of the restaurant-industry hotshots attracted to Franklin Café by the late-night menu was Brian Reyelt, who dropped by one night after work at Aujourd’hui in the Four Seasons Hotel and stuck around to become executive chef overseeing Franklin’s two Boston locations.

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