Here you aren’t the customer, you are family


      There are few places in the state of Maryland that capture the authenticity of the countries they cater too. But none scale up to the authentic feel of the La Cucina restaurant in downtown Havre De Grace. 

      The secret of this authenticity is in the family who runs it. One of the founders, Gino, was the first to arrive in the United States from Italy in 1978. In 1982 he married his fiancé Antonella. Later that year they honed their cooking skills in the best Italian kitchens in New Jersey, New York, then finally in Baltimore.  

     In 2001 Gino and Antonella, now with three children Niki, Macio, and Rosanna, settled down in the coastal town of downtown Havre de Grace and opened La Cucina. 

     The family takes great pride in cooking the most authentic Italian cuisine money can buy while providing the most accurate atmosphere to a genuine Italian kitchen. When you walk in you are greeted with paintings that look like the Italian coast to the right, to the left you get a sneak peek of what true Italian cooking looks like, and down the center you see signs with the specials on it along. At first glance, the main dining room seems a little small but that just adds to La Cucina’s charm.  

     When you first look at the menu the first thing you realize is the choices are endless, including pasta, pizza, chicken, subs, salads, and much more. It might seem intimidating with the infinite choices but it’s not difficult to find a dish that isn’t godlike.  

     A great start to the meal is an order of the cheese bread. Toasted Italian bread with melted cheese on the top, and in case there wasn’t enough cheese, sprinkled on top is a little bit of parmesan cheese, and it’s served to you still warm and just to your liking. The crunch of the bread combined with the taste of the cheeses is just the right thing to put you in the feel of the Italian way of cooking. 

     To continue the experience from the appetizers to the main course, some great choices are the shrimp scampi over linguini or the chicken parmesan over capellini. The jumbo shrimp for the scampi is caught fresh and served steamed, covered in a pleasing garlic and lemon-butter sauce that accompanies the pasta perfectly, and the chicken in the parmesan is lightly coated in a delicious batter and fried until a crisp golden brown then blanketed in a generous coat of red pasta sauce.  

     And like all things in the kitchen, the pasta is made in house and always fresh, so there is no question about the quality of the dishes.  

     To finish off the meal on a sweet note, they offer small and large cannoli for you to take home and share with your own family. These dessert items are made from their own bakery with their own family recipe. They also offer coffee and tea if you want something to warm your soul after being blessed with the food. 

     The only thing to look out for is your wallet. The dishes are a bit on the pricey side but you are paying for quality, along with quantity. You are also paying for a lot of food; the portion sizes are very large. But it’s on purpose, the reason being that they want you to enjoy the food both in the restaurant and at home.   

     If you plan to eat in at La Cucina you can just walk right in and most likely they will have a table waiting for you, but on holidays it is recommended you have a reservation so your table is ensured. But if eating out isn’t your thing, they offer delivery and pick up. Their hours are 11AM-9PM Monday, Wednesday through Saturday, 12PM-9PM on Sundays, and closed on Tuesdays. And to find it on 103 N Washington St in Havre De Grace.  

     In true Italian style, the servers will greet you as if they haven’t seen you in years, even if you’ve never met them before in your life. And when you dine here, you’re not only a customer, you’re part of the family.