The newest entrant to The Loop’s eclectic mix is Nico, a relaxed Mediterranean restaurant brought to you by Franco’s Tom Schmidt.

Rustic dishes featuring flavors from Spain, Italy, Morocco and France tempt diners strolling Delmar Boulevard, who can snag a spot on the bustling sidewalk or enjoy their meal in the warm, wood-enhanced interior designed by Space Architectural Design Studio.

Salt cod makes an appearance on the starter list in hot, crisp croquettes that are drizzled with aïoli. Flavorful tartines (open-faced sandwiches) are a good choice for a light supper – we suggest the white anchovy, basil and tomato.

If you’re seeking something more substantial, Nico’s lamb with couscous and harissa or the beef daube with puff pastry – essentially a wonderful pot roast – will satisfy. Sweet endings are light and classic – madeleines are served with stewed fruit, flan is given a chocolate accent and crêpes are filled with strawberry-mascarpone mousse. Franco’s “little brother” is a welcome addition to the family.

Nico, 6525 Delmar Blvd., The Loop,

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