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Despite a pandemic, lots of new restaurants are opening, too

Restaurant news (and optimism?) you can use

Dishes at Bianca, new from Tim and Nancy Cushman.
Dishes at Bianca, new from Tim and Nancy Cushman.Brian Samuels

Openings: The Street Chestnut Hill’s Bianca (55 Boylston St.) opens on Thursday, Nov. 12. It’s the latest from Tim and Nancy Cushman (O Ya, Hojoko). The menu sways from sushi rolls to rotisserie chicken to steaks, pasta, and sake. There’s a kids' menu, too, with Japanese fried chicken and spaghetti and meatballs, as well as Roman pizza squares from Mr. Roni Cups, Bianca’s restaurant-within-a-restaurant. Also, an all-important heated patio.

The Lexington has opened in the newly anointed Cambridge Crossing neighborhood (100 North First St.), the latest from Puritan & Company’s Will Gilson. It’s a second-floor restaurant and bar, complementing his all-day Café Beatrice, which opened earlier this year. (An Italian spot, Gepetto, will open in 2021.) Of note: a large rooftop terrace and a menu that ranges from Swedish meatballs to onion dip to hot lobster rolls. Southerners will appreciate a burger topped with Duke’s mayo.

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Offsuit, aptly named since everyone is wearing pajamas these days, opens in the Leather District (5 Utica St. at Tufts Street). It’s a 20-seat craft cocktail bar with wine, sharing a cellar with sister restaurant Troquet on South. Cocktails are $15, accompanied by snacks like hash browns and crispy pigs' ears. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday from 4:30 p.m.

For those seeking sweets near Mass General, Blackbird Doughnuts has opened a new branch in the West End (175 Cambridge St. at Blossom Street).

Tacos come to the Kendall Square (305 Kendall St. at Athenaeum Street) with the addition of fast-casual Mexcito, serving tortas, tacos, street corn, and nachos for takeout or delivery.

Reopenings: Downtown’s Spyce (241 Washington St. at Water Street), known for a futuristic automated kitchen that assembles bowls and salads in minutes, is back. Order via app, kiosk, or website — truly a restaurant for the COVID-19 age. Pick up your meal or get it delivered on a zero-emission electric moped. Spyce plans to open a second location in Harvard Square in early 2021.

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Spyce is offering delivery using a zero-emission electric moped.
Spyce is offering delivery using a zero-emission electric moped.Handout

Expansions: Speaking of Harvard Square, a new branch of the Smoke Shop BBQ has opened there, led by meat maven Andy Husbands (8 Holyoke St. at Massachusetts Avenue).

Coming soon: A new outpost of Back Bay’s Buttermilk & Bourbon will launch in Arsenal Yards in 2021 (130 Arsenal Yards Blvd.), serving biscuits, bourbon, and pork belly.

Rebrands: In Waltham, Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions (468 Moody St. at Chestnut Street) will morph into Molti. Apparently not ones for superstition, they’ll launch with the new name and menu on Friday, Nov. 13, with a focus on pizza, pasta, and take-and-bake meals, plus sandwiches and salads. The Backroom at Molti, their adjacent sit-down restaurant, welcomes guests Wednesday through Sunday.

Full plates: The Greater Boston Food Bank maintains a database of hunger-relief agencies, food pantries, and meal programs. It’s also a helpful resource if you’re looking for ways to donate. Visit www.gbfb.org/need-food/.


Kara Baskin can be reached at kara.baskin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @kcbaskin.