From the small, cozy dining area to the bright, open kitchen, dining at Lucia resembles a comfy dinner at home with friends — except you get pure, made-from-scratch Italian food. “I wanted to have a neighborhood Italian restaurant,” says chef and owner David Uygur. “Everything is made in-house. Most places don’t do that.” Uygur says guests like to try a little bit of everything on the menu, which changes all the time. It includes four courses, antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci. Most people start out with the salumi — a selection of cured meats, yes, all house-made just a few feet away. Originally from East Texas with a Turkish father, Uygur grew up eating exotic foods like squid, unlike most kids his age. But he has always loved Italian food, having eaten in some of the best restaurants in Italy. “I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”

Three more spots for feel-good food:

1 Hattie’s
You had me at fried green tomatoes. This Bishop Arts establishment has an extensive menu of “low country” favorites.
Eighth & Bishop

2 Oddfellows
If the gourmet coffee doesn’t put you at ease, the breakfast will. Beignets, French toast pudding, gingerbread pancakes and build-your-own tacos — need we say more?
Seventh & Madison

3 Norma’s Café
With daily specials featuring fried
pickles, chicken fried steak, chicken
and dumplings, and hearty veggies,
this diner is sure to cure any comfort food craving.
Trinity Mills & the Tollway