Rice Village gets a taste of southern Italy with the new Sud Italia.

Each Friday, Gastronaut rounds up the most notable opening and closing of the week.

As reported last week, yesterday was the final day of service for the Eatsie Boys Cafe in Montrose—a shame for more reasons that one, including the fact that Houstonia named its Disco Biscuit as one of the 13 best breakfast dishes in Houston in the May issue of the magazine that's hitting newsstands now. Sorry, folks. The silver lining is that co-owner Ryan Soroka promises the Eatsie Boys food truck will still be at the 8th Wonder Brewery on a regular basis, serving food for guests in the taproom that's now open seven days a week. They even promise a forthcoming Sunday brunch service and who knows? Maybe the Disco Biscuit won't turn out to be as dead as its namesake after all.

Sud Italia
2347 University Blvd.
713-664-7571
sud-italia.com

In other reincarnation news, Sud Italia is now open in Rice Village, occupying the same bungalow as the recently-closed Bistro des Amis. The new Italian restaurant is taking full advantage of the space's oak-shaded patio and sunny dining room and hopes to lure guests who miss Arturo's Uptown Italiano—which also recently closed, and whose space now houses upscale Tex-Mex joint Añejo—with some familiar faces. Former Arturo's general manager Shanon Scott opened Sud Italia with wife and business partner Wende Lerway Scott and brought several stalwart Arturo's employees along with him, making it a family affair on several fronts. Indeed, while I was there today, I overheard two tables tell their servers how much they missed Arturo's and how glad they were to have Sud Italia as a more-than-suitable replacement.

Puccia pugliese + patio = perfection

In the kitchen, the Scotts partnered up with chef Seles Romero—also formerly of Arturo's—to create a menu of southern Italian dishes (as the name Sud Italia would indicate) not often seen in northern Italian-dominated Houston. At lunch today, I indulged in a favorite from Puglia: puccia pugliese, a sort of flatbread sandwich typically served on rounds of puccia, which is very similar to pizza dough. Sud Italia offers three varities at lunch, each served with your choice of fried fingerling potatoes or a salad, the latter of which is one of the nicer and more thoughtful side salads I've seen in a long time. Of course, I opted for the ndjua and Provolone-stuffed puccia, thereby negating any benefits of the tomato and cucumber-laden salad, but you don't eat Italian food to stay skinny—you eat it because it's delicious, and Sud Italia is no exception.

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