• Elizabeth Gomez

Right about now the one thing that’s popping up on restaurant menus with more regularity than the dreaded poutine is cassoulet, and it sure seems like there are a lot of riffs on the traditional meaty southwestern French white bean stew. When The Southern opens on Friday, Cary Taylor will be serving his with black-eyed peas instead of white beans. A nice little crock of two-bean cassoulet is served as a side at Balsan, the Lilliputian answer to John Manion’s Brobdingnagian lamb-meatball-and-smoky-merguez-filled cauldron at Branch 27.