It turns out that longtime Santa Cruz foodie Dan Dickmeyer was right. There is going to be a new Italian place on Soquel Avenue, where the old Malabar was, and it’s scheduled to open in July.

If you’re like me (and I truly doubt it) you don’t immediately think “Italian” when you hear the name “Lillian.” But you will from now on. Lillian’s Italian Kitchen is the name of the new place at 1116 Soquel Avenue, and it’s all about Southern Italian cooking. Think Sicily when you consider menus items like meatball sandwich, pasta e fagioli, Sunday Gravy (the old southern Italian meat sauce with spaghetti), prawns diavola over penne – even cannoli for dessert is on the brand, spanking new menu.

July. Something to look forward to. Grazie tanto.