As early as two years ago, you could walk down Broadway in South Boston and count the fine-dining establishments by the mile. From there you could whittle down the list to a handful of spots worth your time, money, and appetite.
When I moved to Southie in 2010, Franklin Southie was the only place I’d return to for a stiff cocktail and a semblance of bistro cuisine. Eager to explore my particular stretch of the neighborhood (excluding Fort Point and the Waterfront), I wrote down the standbys the locals suggested. One by one — Amrheins, Salsa’s, Cafe Porto Bello, the Playwright, the long-gone St. Alphonzo’s (replaced by Aussie chef Sam Jackson’s terrific KO Catering and Pies) — I checked them off. Meh. They were fine, but far from exceptional.