> You’re going to need to loosen your belt buckle a couple of notches to prepare for the next wave of restaurant openings: Lampert’s Plush Pig Barbeque relocated from its cubby hole on Forsyth in Clayton to the old Café Brasil space at McKnight and Manchester roads in Rock Hill. Owners LARRY AND ANGIE LAMPERT can now feed up to 180 hungry diners; watch for a March 30 opening…Chef and restaurateur MARK LUCAS plans to open the doors of his Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium by mid-April. The spot at Big Bend and Wise in Richmond Heights will serve fancy-fresh gyros, dogs, burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads…Wanna try the newest place for Southern comfort food? Head over to Mama Josephine’s, newly opened at 4000 Shaw just a few blocks east of the Garden…For small plates, visit Mojo Tapas Restaurant and Bar on Grand near Arsenal in early April. Chef-owner ERIC ERHARD says to expect eclectic, ‘sexy magic food,’ not just Spanish-inspired fare. Erhard has worked at numerous St. Louis restaurants, including Momos, Annie Gunn’s, Harvest and Boogaloo…Stellina Pasta on Watson is temporarily closed for the final phase of its much-welcomed expansion. If all goes as planned, you can dine in the 400-square-foot addition as early as April 1. Yippee!
> The long and short of it: Not many restaurants can claim to be in continuous operation in one location for 85 years, but that is exactly what Al’s Restaurant on First Street downtown has done. Owner PAM NEAL recently hosted a little hoopla at the family-owned spot to mark the milestone…At the other end of the spectrum, we’re sad to say goodbye to the now-shuttered Seasons St. Louis in Chesterfield, opened less than a year ago by two hometown chefs.
> Chef and TV cooking show host BOB WAGGONER trekked to Overlook Farm in Clarksville last week for a taping of ‘Great Chef Destinations.’ Some 20 guests enjoyed the farm-to-table fare prepared by Overlook’s chef TIM GRANDINETTI. The episode will air this fall on PBS.
> Flying bunnies, golden eggs and chicken talk: The Easter Bunny will be making an early arrival when he lands by helicopter on the campus of Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield March 27 for the annual ‘Hare in the Air’ egg hunt. Also on hand at the free event will be St. Louis Cardinals mascot Fredbird…Lake Forest Confections is featuring a Golden Easter Egg made with real gold-dusted milk chocolate and filled with truffle eggs…Bowood Farms’ ‘Chickens, Plants & Rock ‘n’ Roll’ on April 3 should be one fun E-I-E-I-O-fest. Chicken man Bill Ruppert of Kirkwood will talk about ways to garden while also raising chickens. The family-friendly event features some musical squawking by Michael Supe Granda of Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Bring a can of chicken soup for donation to the Trinity Episcopal Church food pantry and enter a raffle for a Bowood gift certificate and other prizes.
> The Wine and Cheese Place on Forsyth is holding its annual BeerFest on April 10. The premium session for this popular event is already sold out. So if you want to sample 100 beers and fill up on barbecue, make your reservations for the open session online at thewineandcheeseplace.com.