Located in Framingham, MA La Cantina has been around since 1946 and resides in the same spot where it was originally built. Leo and Fanny Mencoboni actually took their life savings and opened La Cantina next to their small grocery and meat market. With all the success La Cantina has, I can pretty safely say they got much more than their original investment.
I've been going to La Cantina since high school so when my husband and I moved close to the area, I knew I had to bring him there. Four years later, it's become our GO-TO Italian restaurant. In fact, we order from there 2-4X a month. And although I am a foodie, I order the same dish every time we order from there: Lobster ravioli. I love it sooooo much, that it's become my signature pre-race/pre-long run meal. It really is that good!
So... on that note, I have a confession to make. I make fun of my in-laws for going to the same restaurant every weekend and never trying any new place. (They go to Jimmy's Steer House in Saugus if you're interested). Well I got news for you. When I find a place I really REALLY love and a dish I can't get enough of, I'm totally predictable as well. La Cantina is that place to me : )
Also if you are ever in the area, La Cantina has Lobsterfest every Thursday from 11:30am until close. Which means you can get delicious Lobster for $11.99 along with several other amazing Lobster dishes.
So... a couple Thursdays ago, my mother, husband and I went to La Cantina around 7pm. And not surprisingly, we had to wait. So while we waited, we got some cocktails.
I got the special drink: Mixed Berry Infused Vodka Martini for $5.99. See that strawberry? Yeah, well, it tasted like pure vodka. I think I was drunk off one bite.
Once we were seated, we quickly ordered an appetizer. We got the Calamari and it was delicious. Served on a bed of Arugula with Lemon Juice and a homemade tartar sauce, it was the perfect snack before dinner.
After we placed our orders, our waitress brought over their signature iceberg salad. What makes it their signature you ask?
THE DRESSING. Ever heard of Fanny's Italian Dressing? Otherwise known as the best dressing on the planet! Dave and I stock up on this stuff and we use it on our salads at home all the time. If you see it in your grocery store, buy it. You won't be sorry. It's the owners and founders recipe and the dressing is sold online, in the restaurant and in local grocery stores.
There's also tons of lobster pieces inside the ravs. I seriously can't say enough about this dish. I love the sauce, I love the pasta and I love lobster!
My mom loves lobster too, apparently.
See I hated it, clearly.
So the moral of this story... if you live in the 'burbs or are passing through the metro west, give La Cantina a try. You won't be disappointed. It is old-school Italian food that makes everyone happy. And it's only 4 short miles from the start of the Boston Marathon : )
Do you have a go-to dish at your local italian restaurant?
And people from MA- tell me your favorite Italian restaurant!