Dispatches from the Back Burner

1201191987Despite the city’s impressive run of restaurant debuts in past months (Mooo, Myers + Chang, T.W. Food, et al.), delays in some high-profile openings have foodies banging their silverware impatiently. Feeling a sympathy pang, we went looking for the scoop.

Originally slated for December, South End hot-spot-in-waiting Banq will bow in the next few weeks. Word is they’re taking time to get the design elements exactly right—no wonder, as wickedly hip Office dA (Mantra, Bin 26) is overseeing the aesthetics. (One rumored highlight: a men’s bathroom that features prerecorded “eavesdropped” chitchat from the ladies’ room, and vice versa.)

Over in Fort Point, Persephone, the latest from Lumiere chef-owner Michael Leviton, is tardy by almost two months—construction snafus, delays in equipment—but it’s definitely coming. We got a sneak peek at the newest working menu, and can confirm it’s all about local, sustainable, and simply prepared food (like Maine bouchot mussels with Smuttynose IPA, roast tomatoes, gremolata, and garlic croutons). Look for a soft opening around February 18, followed by an official opening the next week, and a—you guessed it—grand opening in March.

Eager to see Olecito, the spinoff of Best of Boston winner Ole? So’s Ole chef-owner Erwin Ramos, currently suffering some serious growing pains. The tiny Cambridge takeout joint was planned to open last month, but the building crew is still sorting out the plumbing, and the electric company has yet to hook Ramos up. He can’t say when the doors will open, but with the promise of guac and salsa made on the spot, and an affordable menu of Ole-caliber tortas and tacos, here’s hoping it’s soon.

Over and Out: The Aquitaine Group has pulled the plug on its planned steakhouse, Prime 128. No word on why—but the group should have its hands plenty full tending its latest venture, booming brasserie Gaslight.