South End

By Kat Odell

Although South End considers itself a wine bar and artisan pizza place—which it is—some of the most unique dishes at this cozy, shoe box–sized new spot in Venice are the tartes. Studded with either creamy melted Brie; caramelized onions and a syrupy balsamic vinegar; or house-cured salmon, leeks, and crème fraîche, the crunchy, nearly paper-thin dough is hued jet black thanks to squid ink, and enriched with pork fat. It’s not surprising that Frank Fermin, a Mozza vet, is the man behind the dough; he also arranges salumi-studded charcuterie boards and crafts rustic, thin crust pizzas, simply flavored with a few slices of salami, mozzarella, and tomatoes, or a mozzarella-Fontina mix flecked with small bits of bacon and fresh shaved black truffles (when in season, of course). The selection of red, white, and bubbles, mostly though not exclusively Italian, is directed by owner Mario Vollera, and offers reasonable prices by the glass or bottle. The set-up here, consisting of a small bar and perched communal tables, is casual and laid-back—perfect for facilitating conversation between groups and wine tasting between friends.

... on the side

at your service
If you see owner Mario Vollera—he’s the guy with the shaggy longish dark hair and the Italian accent—you’ll want to direct your wine questions to him. He’s extremely knowledgeable, having been responsible for wine pairings at Barbershop, a pop-up dining concept formed with chef Walter el Nagar.

overheard
While South End presently offers pastries and coffee in the morning—followed by pizza-centered dinner service—the restaurant is debuting brunch on weekends, starting October 26.

decibels
High—you’ll have to speak up to be heard above the din.

hours

breakfast: 8 AM–4 PM daily
dinner: Sun–Thu 4 PM–10 PM; Fri–Sat 4 PM–11 PM

price range

$9 (spring mix salad) to $17 (salsiccia pizza)
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