Invincible summer?

Here’s a picture I snapped today on my way back from lunch at Toro, where I (predictably) had the (same as ever) pollo-salad-and-half-a-tortilla-sandwich that I’ve come to crave (desperately need) on a weekly (daily?) basis.

Look familiar? It’s called a “plant” and it’s “growing” from the “earth.” I share this not just to remind you that spring will arrive, eventually, even in Boston, but as a metaphorical nod another variety of tender, young life that still issues forth in the midst of bitterest winter: The restaurant. Even now, there are some new places opening, and that’s reason to celebrate.

To wit:

Olecito, the little sister restaurant to Olé Mexican Grillin Cambridge, will soon launch a second location in Brookline near Washington Square. Final details are still being hammered out, but we’ll have more info for you soon. I hear they’re also gearing up for a third branch at Boston University in September.

Somerville just welcomed Pho and Rice, a Vietnamese-Thai hybrid at 289 Beacon Street. It’s in the space formerly occupied by Zoe’s, which moved across the street to 296 Beacon.

Thaitation has taken over the former Fenway home of Brown Sugar with the same chef and an equally varied and ambitious menu.

Stephi’s on Tremont is in any-day-now territory.

And finally, Ten Tables Cambridge, in the old Craigie Street Bistrot space, has a firm start date of February 23. They’ll start taking reservations next Monday.