Openings: Academy, Chica, and Piccolo Forno

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Pizza from Academy, with arugula and an egg. Yelp photo by Jay S.

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A Mexi-rice bowl from Chica. Photo via Facebook.

By Dana Eastland. As reported earlier this year, there are changes afoot at the former Pizza Inferno on Fillmore. The New Fillmore reports that it’s now softly open as ~ACADEMY~, from chef Nick Pallone and Peter Fogel. They’ve revamped the space, giving it a more open feel, with reclaimed wood tables and an open bar, plus they’ve added a wood-fired oven for Neapolitan-style pizzas. The menu is fun and seasonal, with a section of snacks, cured meats, vegetables, pizzas, and heartier main dishes. There are also 24 beers on tap and a selection of wines. Basically, it’s the perfect before-movie spot, with its location a block from the Sundance Kabuki. 1800 Fillmore St. at Sutter, 415-775-1800.

There’s a new place for breakfast and lunch now open near Levi’s Plaza. It’s called ~CHICA~, and as Hoodline originally reported, it’s a takeout window from chef-owner Maria Esquivel, who has been running a booth at Fort Mason’s Off the Grid. The food is California with Latin influence, or as Esquivel puts it, “American comfort, Latin attitude.” There are polenta bowls, Mexican-style rice bowls, and tortas, plus daily changing soups and drinks including coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. Hours are Mon-Fri 8am-2:30pm. 120 Green St. at Battery, 415-757-0510.

~PICCOLO FORNO~, the new, casual addition to North Beach from the Ideale crew we reported on last month, is now open. Hoodline notes that the new spot opened softly on October 28th and is serving pizza, salads, espresso, pastries, and antipasti all day. Right now, they are waiting on their pizza oven, so they’re closed today but moving forward, hours are daily 10am-10pm. 725 Columbus Ave. at Filbert.