La Cantina

Hours: Lunch: Monday-Friday; Dinner: Monday-Saturday
Closed Sunday
Open Late: Monday-Saturday till midnight

Price: $$$

The casual third in the Italian Village trio of Loop restaurants.

Restaurant Details

Cozy means cramped in the casual seafood-oriented tier of the Italian Village restaurant triplex. Four average-size adults, we had to nudge and shimmy ourselves into the booth--not a good harbinger for what we assumed would be a hearty, belt-loosening home-style Italian feast. After navigating the justly heralded wine list, the size of a phone book, we settled on a good-value premium red burgundy. Our introduction into the night’s meal was an appetizer of grilled calamari, appealingly charred and served on a bed of spring greens. Salads were the typical family-style restaurant fare--mixed greens with a tomato wedge—but the minestrone looked nice. The veal parmigiana was tender, its breading crunchy but not too crunchy and its tomato sauce bright and fresh tasting. The vegetarians in our party, however, found pickings slim. One ordered the fettucine Alfredo sans the usual grilled chicken and had to return the dish when it arrived at the table with. To the kitchen’s credit, the dish appeared newly made when it came back. The other vegetarian ordered what appeared on the menu as cheese tortellini and on the table as cheese ravioli, albeit fluffy, pillowlike ravioli in a tomato sauce that was again successful. I was the only one to order off the house-specialty seafood menu, choosing cacciuco, a shellfish soup that even the server couldn’t pronounce. Boy was I sorry. Bland and watery, the broth bore no hint of the fennel promised in the description, and biting into the calamari rings was like gnawing on rubber bands. On the plus side, the red premier cru burgundy provided some consolation. I’d gladly order it again.

Kathie Bergquist

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Price: $$$

Payment Type: American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

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