Openings: The White Bull Tavern has opened downtown, replacing the Purple Shamrock (1 Union St. at North Street). Perch at an eight-seat raw bar, create your own wood-fired pizza from a 20-plus toppings selection, or feast on lamb chops with mint jelly and spicy wings.
Hurricane’s at The Garden, new from the team behind The Harp, replaces Hurricane O’Reilly’s (150 Canal St. at Causeway Street). Soak up your beer with pub food: pizzas, burgers, buffalo chicken dip, and bacon cheese dogs. There’s live music, too.
Farther north, Counter at The Hotel Salem (209 Essex St. at Central Street) has opened, helmed by Chef Justin Perdue (Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain, Rick Bayless’s Topolobampo). Enjoy braised oxtail tortellini, duck confit toast, and braised short ribs at dinner, with brunch and lunch service to come. A 20-seat counter overlooks an open kitchen.
Empires: The Met Restaurant Group’s Kathy Sidell and Stephanie Sokolove from Stephanie’s Restaurant Group — sisters as well as restaurateurs — have joined forces to create Sidell Hospitality. The name honors their dad, financier Jack Sidell. The pair run the Stephanie’s group of restaurants and Saltie Girl in Boston as well as the Met in Boston, Dedham, and Natick.
Sports: Is “I, Tonya” the closest you’ll get to the Olympics this year? No matter: Bambara Restaurant & Bar at the Hotel Marlowe (25 Edwin H. Land Blvd. at Cambridge Parkway) hosts Chalet Marlowe, an Olympic pop-up at their lobby bar. They’ll turn the bar into a ski lodge with Korean-inspired snacks and drinks. The pop-up kicks off with a reception on Feb. 9 at 5 p.m., with dishes like double-fried chicken wings, pork and kimchi dumplings, chicken rice porridge, and Korean rice cakes with crab prepared by Danny Lee from Washington, D.C.’s Chiko and Mandu restaurants. The chalet is open nightly until Feb. 28.
Menus: Watertown’s Branch Line (321 Arsenal St. at Thornton Avenue), a grown-up favorite thanks to delicious poultry, a heated patio, and a bocce court, now has a kids’ menu. Its Chicken Little menu has shells and cheese, boneless chicken breasts, grilled cheese, and hot chocolate.