Best of Boston

2012 Best Italian Restaurant, Romantic

Franklin Cafe

No need to consult with a wardrobe stylist when prepping for a classy date night at the Franklin. Just come as you are, slide into a black leather booth, and let the low lighting, art-covered walls, and excellent wine list loosen you up. From there, the food—spicy marinated cucumbers, cornmeal-crusted catfish, and smoky spareribs—will put anyone in the mood.

278 Shawmut Ave., Boston, 617-350-0010,