La Cucina
474 Hazeldean Rd.
(613) 836.1811

Rating: ***
Dinner & drinks for 2: $50

For me, two key dishes make an Italian restaurant great: their Bruschetta and Chicken Parm.

And, when you get up to leave, you should enjoy the garlic on your tastebuds and wish you hadn’t finished your plate of pasta. If your standards are similar to mine, you will be satisfied with the offerings at La Cucina.

The first thing I always order in an Italian resto is Bruschetta.

Unfortunately, tomatoes aren’t in season right now, so the Bruschetta ($6) wasn’t as saliva-inducing as I was hoping.

A sprinkle of Parmesan would have been welcomed.

Moving on to the next requirement for a great Italian meal: Chicken Parmesan ($19). It’s hard to go wrong with this combination of carbs, tomatoes, and cheese. In fact, La Cucina makes a great Chicken Parm. I wish I’d ordered it.

Instead, I ordered their signature La Cucina Penne ($15) and found it dull and needing salt even after a heavy sprinkle of freshly-grated Parmesan.

We ended our meal with a cup of freshly-made strong black coffee and four mini Sicilian cannoli ($3) filled with sweetened ricotta cheese.

Walking out, I could still taste garlic and wished I’d left one or two cannoli on the plate.

Dining out

One-Stop Shopping/Eating
The Branch Restaurant Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in November, get $2 off the branchburger: housemade, thick and juicy, char-grilled gourmet local beef burger served on a sesame bun with tomato aioli, housemade Beau's beer hot grainy mustard and more. 15 Clothier St. E., Kemptville (613) 258-3737


Mystiko serves delicious Greek fare, including shrimp in a tomato wine sauce, homemade Greek sausage and vanilla kadaifi dessert. Their wine list includes exclusively Greek wines. 281 Kent St. (613) 233-3626

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