il Casale Osteria. That's the official name of the upcoming Lexington Center sibling to il Casale, a rep for the restaurant tells Zagat. This sister to the original Italian from chef Dante de Magistris (pictured, far right, with his co-owner brothers Filippo and Damian) is slated to open in the spring and will boast a "new concept with similar look and feel," though the nature of that concept is still under wraps.
Merrill & Co. The lights will soon be back on at the shuttered South End space that formerly housed 28 Degrees. Boston magazine reports that Merrill & Co, a seafood-centric spot from the BiNA Hospitality Group (Bin 26, Lala Rokh, and jm Curley) will move in this spring. Expect to find chef Jason Cheek, formerly of KO Prime, Toro and New York's Willow Road, serving classic New England seafood, brick oven pizzas, and the famous jm Curley burger. Also coming from Curley is bar manager Kevin Mabry, who will now oversee both restaurants. Merriill will emphasize a sherry selection (six by-the-glass options and 20 by the bottle), large format punches and slushies. The interior will boast subway tile, diner-style seating and a glassed-in keg room behind its bar.
SlowBones. You can now place your order (online, even) for pulled pork from SlowBones. The fast-casual BBQ concept from the local founder of Boston Chicken (today Boston Market) is now officially open; head here to check out last month's preview. Though owner Kip Kolow sold Boston Chicken in 1989, he's made clear that SlowBones is intended to be the first of many outposts from the possible-future-BBQ-behemoth.