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Jamie Bissonnette opens a trio of Downtown Crossing destinations; a ‘Cupcake Wars’ star sweetens the South Shore

Plus, Jason Bond finds a home at Eastern Standard, and Ivory Pearl Bar sets a closing date

Chef Jamie Bissonnette in the kitchen at Somaek.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Openings: Restaurateur Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa, Toro) debuts a new partnership on Friday, March 22, alongside Andy Cartin and Babak Bina. The trio plan to softly open Korean restaurant Somaek, listening bar Temple Records, and subterranean sushi counter Sushi @ Temple Records (11-17 Temple Place), with an official launch on Monday, March 25.

In an earlier Globe interview, the James Beard award-winning Bissonnette promised food inspired by his Korean mother-in-law. An early Somaek menu lists dishes like pork-and-kimchi dumplings, grilled beef short ribs, grilled salted mackerel, and soybean paste stew with clams, potato, zucchini, and mushrooms.

Some of the dishes to be served at Somaek in Downtown Crossing.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Visit the 29-seat Somaek from 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Temple Records is open daily from 5 p.m. with 32 seats, while the 22-seat sushi bar serves from 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.


Cartin and Bina also run JM Curley, Bogie’s Place, and the Wig Shop in Downtown Crossing. Bina also ran romantic Beacon Hill hideaway Lala Rokh, which closed in 2018.

In sweet South Shore news, Food Network “Cupcake Wars” champ Victoria Donnelly launches Knead Bakery and Bistro in Scituate (133 Front St.), serving sourdough bread, breakfast pastries, tartines, and cupcakes. She also plans to host proper British teas and champagne brunches. Visit Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m.

Closings: Ran Duan confirms the news that Brookline’s Ivory Pearl Bar (1704 Beacon St.) will close on Sunday, March 31, ending an ambitious three-plus-year run. It opened in August 2020 at the height of the pandemic, bringing extravagance to a bleak era: Dover sole, caviar, champagne. Duan says he’s tinkering with new ideas for the space. Known for transportive cocktails, he also runs Brookline’s Blossom Bar, Woburn’s Baldwin Bar, and Birds of Paradise at Brighton’s Charles River Speedway.

A platter of oysters from the raw bar at Ivory Pearl Seafood Emporium in Brighton.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Personnel changes: Fans of Jason Bond’s earthy cooking at Bondir, late of Cambridge and Concord, should head to Eastern Standard (775 Beacon St.). Bond is in Garrett Harker’s kitchen for the time being, until he finds a location for the next iteration of Bondir.


“Garrett’s letting me make a paycheck while I do that,” he says, calling ESKD a “busy spot with nice people.”

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