Openings & Closings: Fisch, Fish and More Fish

Unfortunately, we're ending the week on a sad note: Sweet 'n' Namkin, which I just spotlighted on Wednesday as having my favorite dahi puri in town, has closed. Anyone want to try and direct me to a new place for dahi puri, preferably a place where I can cry into my chaat without drawing too many stares?

Meanwhile, in happier news, displaced chef Brandon Fisch -- you'll recognize him from our ike jime video and this week's cover story -- has found a home at Xuco Xicana, where he'll be the sous chef under Jonathan Jones.

"I formally accepted the job with JJ," Fisch told me on Wednesday, "and I will tell you that you will see more ceviches on the menu. More composed plates as well." Considering the cuisine that Fisch was drawing accolades for at Yelapa falls neatly in line with what Jones is already doing at Xuco Xicana, it seems like a match made in modern Mexican heaven. Fisch starts this Monday.

Speaking of Jones, his Tweet earlier this week about Felix 55 made my ears perk up: "Ok so the Crispy Skin Snapper and White Bean dish at Felix 55 I just had is one of the best fish dishes in HTown." Felix 55, which is still in its soft opening, is the newest restaurant to employ the talented Michael Kramer, previously of Voice. His most recent partnership with The Tasting Room didn't work out, and I already have an inkling that Felix 55 will be a much better fit for him.

In other openings, The Blue Fish on Washington Avenue has now opened up next to benjy's. The sushi restaurant is the second location of this Dallas import; the first one is at Bayou Place, not to be confused with Blue Fish House on Richmond. Like benjy's, it's a cavernous space with an almost clubby vibe. And also like benjy's, it serves better food than it has to.

The original benjy's on Dunstan lost a neighbor recently, as fans of the original Antone's in Rice Village were disappointed to learn that the sandwich spot vacated its longtime location last week. Sources indicate that rent in the space -- next door to Kelvin Arms and benjy's -- had increased to the point where Antone's finally had to close down and reconcentrate on its Stella Link location. Its presence in the Village will be sorely missed.

In additional closings, B4-U-Eat reports this week that Manvel In-laws & Outlaws BBQ has shut its doors, as has Pagoda Vietnamese Bistro & Bar. Where will we enjoy our Pagoda rolls now? Where?

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