Food & dining
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    Tables: Some big closings in Southie, and welcoming The Wellington

    Openings: The team behind Belmont and Lexington’s Il Casale will open The Wellington next week in Belmont (75 Leonard St. at Alexander Avenue). ll Casale specializes in Italian food; The Wellington is “food that’s familiar, some pub items, everyday food,” says co-owner Dante de Magistris.

    He runs the space along with brothers Damian and Filippo; they’re also behind Dante at Cambridge’s Royal Sonesta Hotel.

    The Wellington is open for dinner nightly, serving fried clams, tater tot poutine, steak-and-cheese crepes, and burgers topped with foie gras sauce. (There’s a Pilates studio across the street, FYI.) There’s also a kids’ menu, with $8 cheeseburgers and fried chicken.


    It’s a nice pick-me-up for the neighborhood, since Foodie’s Market closed on the same block a few weeks ago after just a year in business.

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    Closings: Stephi’s in Southie (130 Dorchester Ave. at West Broadway) closed on June 3, part of a restructuring as restaurateur sisters Kathy Sidell (Saltie Girl, The Met) and Stephanie Sokolove (Stephanie’s Restaurant Group) combine their businesses. The sisters now run Sidell Hospitality Group together.

    “When you take a look globally at the strength of the brands, Stephi’s wasn’t the one,” Sidell says, noting that the Southie crowd tends to be younger, nocturnal, and, well, bar-driven. Stephanie’s has branches in the South End and on Newbury Street.

    “People love Stephanie’s in the South End because it’s an intimate version of Stephanie’s on Newbury,” she says.

    Meanwhile, Sidell is contemplating expansion plans for Back Bay tinned-fish parlor Saltie Girl — no firm locations yet — and working on renovations at the group’s Back Bay and Natick Met locations.


    It’s not the first big Southie closure in recent weeks: The Maiden, a few blocks away, also shuttered in May after two-and-a-half years in business. A fun little hangout for oysters and charcuterie, it was co-owned by longtime restaurateur Esti Parsons (Sam’s at Louis) in the same space as one-time underworld hangout Triple O’s Lounge.

    Brunches: Nearby in the Seaport, Tuscan Kitchen (64 Seaport Blvd. at Fan Pier Boulevard) launches brunch service this weekend with ricotta and buttermilk pancakes, frittatas, eggs Benedict, and pizzas, enhanced by a DIY Bloody Mary and mimosa bar.

    Coming Soon: Ora Trattorizza opens later this month in the Back Bay (653 Boylston St. at Dartmouth Street), specializing in Neapolitan pizza. It’s run by Josephine Megwa, who also owns
    Piattini Wine Café on Newbury Street.KARA BASKIN

    Kara Baskin can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @kcbaskin.