Ipswitch Custom replaces Merrill & Co. – The Boston Globe

Jake Elmets

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Jake Elmets

Convivial butcher Jake Elmets, most recently at Somerville’s M. F. Dulock, has opened Ipswich Custom in the South End (1 Appleton St. at Tremont Street). The meat-focused restaurant replaces Merrill & Co. Elmets has an impressive pedigree: Before Dulock, he staged at California’s Chez Panisse (“It’s the most relevant restaurant in the world,” he says), Nashville’s Husk (a stint that was cut short after a butchering injury), and at
Reynard at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, N.Y.

A recent menu showcased boudin blanc, tuna belly, and butchered-to-order lamb collar, plus a medley of fermented vegetables and cheeses. The restaurant’s name is an homage to Ipswich, home of Appleton Farms, one of the country’s oldest.

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“We practice slow techniques such as butchery as it would have been practiced at the advent of hand tools and traditional fermentation methods,” Elmets writes in a release.

The 150-seat restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and Elmets has high hopes for longer hours soon.

“I want this to be a breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot,” he tells me. “I want it to be that neighborhood place in the South End where everyone has a seat at the table. I don’t care how much money you make or don’t make. I want kids and businessmen.”

There are more openings afoot: Restaurateur Garrett Harker (Eastern Standard) tells me that his Branch Line restaurant in Watertown (321 Arsenal St. at Kingsbury Avenue) aims to open in the next week or so. Branch Line spotlights rotisserie and wood-grilled items.

Mark your calendar for brunch at Boston’s Townsman (120 Kingston St. at Essex Street), served on the last Saturday of every month. The next one happens on Halloween, beginning at 11 a.m. Masquerade as a glutton with cinnamon bun grilled cheese, Jamaican jerk bagels with fish pate, and house-made doughnuts. KARA BASKIN

Kara Baskin can be reached at [email protected]