La Cucina

3.8/5
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Information
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Details

Cuisine type

  • Italian,

Dishes

  • Pizza,
  • Pasta,

Atmosphere

  • Casual,

Products and Services

  • Restaurants,

Languages Spoken

  • English,
Location
25 Macdonell St, Guelph, ON N1H 2Z4
Useful Information

Opening Hours *Holiday hours

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
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Rates:

  • > $60,

Methods of Payment:

Ratings & Reviews - La Cucina

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Restaurantica12
By

Food was not worth the prices they charge, very cold atmosphere and staff very cold as well would not go back anytime in the near future but will stick to my "old haunts" where you get what you pay for! And agree with the comments below

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Restaurantica12
By

First Time Disappointment

My family and boyfriend have raved about La Cucina before- I have a cousin who got engaged there several years ago, and ever since, I've been dying to go. We got there for the 8 pm seating on Saturday, October 6th, with another couple behind us. As soon as we got there, the hostess welcomed us and took our coats. She then attempted to seat us at a table in the middle of the room, even though there were tables to the sides. A gentleman suggested she took us to a table to the side. Thank you for that- no one wants to eat in the middle of a restaurant. It took us a while to be served. We were offered water immediately, but then had to wait over 15 minutes before being offered wine or our order being taken. I noticed the couple behind us were being wined and had their bread a full 10 minutes before our server even came back to us. For our appetizers, we ordered the prosciutto and caprese salad. As soon as my boyfriend touched the prosciutto, about 10 fruit flies came from the cantaloupe and lingered at our table for the duration of our stay. Well after our appetizers were delivered, our server came back and asked how they were- you must know you have a fruit fly issue. That was the reason I pointed it out. She was overly apologetic to the point where we felt condescended. If she would have (or anyone for that matter) come by to see how our appetizers were, the problem could have been handled immediately. Everything else was fine- I enjoyed myself, but the fly situation disturbed my date and he lost his appetite. We had to wait about 1/2 an hour from the time we received our desserts and espresso until they billed us. The server who billed us had not been serving us at all last night- we found it uncomfortable when he was suddenly billing us and rushing us out. On the way out, the server who was taking care of us said she forgot to do something with our bill- this was not our intention- we didn't want anything for free, we just wanted to point out the issue. The male server stopped us after we had our coats on and were leaving and told us to mention his name the next time we were in. Frankly, we won't be back. The next time we go out somewhere we want to have a romantic night out and spend the $200+, we'll go somewhere cleaner where we won't feel patronized by the serving staff. What makes matters worse is that I emailed the restaurant directly and have not heard back from them. This tells me they do not care about their guests experiences.

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Restaurantica12
By

I LOVED IT!!!

Spent a Tuesday evening on the patio - the food was awesome - I had an Italian meat and cheese platter to start - one word - GREAT - Ravioli was my pick for pasta - the waitress told me it was one of the places highlights - and it was. For my main I had the filet mignon in a wine sauce - and the cut of meat was def one of the best to be had in Guelph!!! Finished dinner with homemade tiramisu and a cappuccino and my night was complete!!! Will definitely be back - ha - forgot to mention - Tuesday just happened to have wine for 1/2 price which was AWESOME!!! Will be back soon!

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Restaurantica12
By

April 2011

Food was bland, service was slow, portions were small. Ordered medium rare lamb, got well done beef. Won't be back. Room was small and noisy.

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Restaurantica12
By

Good food, small portions, pretentious service

I went with a group of 6 from work. We were surprised when the waiter said they couldn't give us separate bills. One person volunteered to pay so we could all sort it out later as some people were having drinks and others were not. At one point the waiter became agitated when one person in our group was trying to decide between two dishes. We were the only customers in the restaurant at that point, so it's not like he was rushed off his feet. I think this waiter may have made the wrong career choice. While the food was good, the portions were incredibly small. We weren't expecting large portions by any means, but some portions were laughable. An additional pasta and meat selection would have been nice as well to account for varying tastes. The summer menu which was still listed on the website even though it was November had more choices and at different price points than the autumn menu which was quite limited. All in all, it was a disappointing experience. La Cucina has great potential, but customers should be treated better in order for them to return. Many restaurants are happy to have your business and show you with good food and service and make you feel welcome. We did not have that feeling here.

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Restaurantica12
By

Disappointing

Well, we have been going to this restaurant for special occasions for a number of years. we had dinner there last night and walked away very disappointed. The new menu left us wishing for more. Their goat cheese salad was the highlight of the meal. The monthly selection of wine was good. The rest of the plates where disappointing. The pasta was not al dente. The bison ragout was a bit too sweet for my taste. The lamb was bland, the cannelloni was over baked. My wife's chicken was ordinary and the portion small. When you go out to this type of fine restaurant, you expect the cadence of the service to be just right, last night it was off, with too long a wait in between courses. The chocolate lava cake was presidents choice quality (my daughters comment verbatim), the cannoli reasonable. Tip and wine included we paid over $400...we wont be going back again, too risky for the price.

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Restaurantica12
By

Rotating Chefs

This restaurant has been plagued with ever changing chefs, I believe they are on their 4th at this point, and I must say he is very impressive. Although quite young his dishes have demonstrated skills beyond his years. The seasonal/regional menu keeps things interesting and all the offerings we have tried to date have been excellent, I hope the owner can hold on to this one. This is a weekly stop for me.

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Restaurantica12
By

My husband and I went to La Cuchina for our anniversary and we were very pleased. We dined on the rooftop terrace and it was a very nice atmosphere. I just wish the view was of the Tuscan countryside instead of Guelph's graffiti but what can you do? The servers were attentive and the food was great. I had mentioned in passing to the host that it was our anniversary and a couple of staff members wished us a happy anniversary as we exited. It was very nice.

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Restaurantica12
By

Most Pretencious Restaurant

A friend of mine suggested to visit this restaurant after work on a Wednesday evening about 3 weeks ago. OVERALL: It's a VERY NICE and ROMANTIC place to IMPRESS your love interest. It is also VERY UPTIGHT atmosphere, where one has to whisper and sit with a straight back. Make sure you DRESSED UP and BE PATIENT as you'll receive plenty of LECTURES on the menu and GEOGRAPHY of Italy. Make sure you're NOT HUNGRY, as you'll WAIT A LONG TIME for your food when there are 5 chefs and 3 waiters working in this small restaurant with about 10-12 tables (most are 2 people or 4 people tables). Oh and don't forget to bring your credit card as it'll be one OVERPRICED meal. P.S. What is the purpose of the open kitchen when we cannot see the chefs in action in the dining room? Also, the so-called chef "table" is more like a bar setting. Decor & Atmosphere: When we walked in, we realized that we were UNDERDRESSED as we were in jeans and T-shirt. The restaurant has very nice decor - white table cloth, neatly folded napkin, wine glasses and silver cutlery. There were about 10-12 tables, but mostly are 2 people or 4 people tables. There were 3 waiters, all dressed in crisp white shirt and narrow black tie asked whether we had reservation. Since it was about quarter to 6pm, and there was only one big table with a party of 8; we were seated immediately. As we walked pass the small open kitchen, one of the 5 chefs greeted us. Then the "INTERESTING" experience began... SERVICE: As soon as we sat down, our waiter offered to hang our jackets. Which was odd, because he should have asked before we seated. Then, he immediately asked what TYPE OF WATER we wanted. He BOMBARDED my friend with at least 5 types of water. e.g. bottled, sparkling, Italian imported bottled, Italian imported sparkling, etc. He EXPECTED an answer IMMEDIATELY from my friend. My friend felt pressured and said Italian sparkling, as that was the last thing he said. The waiter quickly walked away, without asking what my other friend and I wanted. Since my other friend does not like frizzy beverage, so she asked the waiter for REGULAR WATER. When the waiter returned, he brought BOTTLED WATER and immediately poured into my friend's glass before she could correct him. Also the waiter did a sloppy job at pouring the water, which costed $7 each. The waiter then proceed to give us a LECTURE ON THE MENU. For example, he explained which region each dish was originated. However, he couldn't tell us the soup of the day. The other waiter had to tell him. Our waiter tried VERY HARD TO "PERSUADE" US TO ORDER FULL COURSE MEAL (i.e. appetizer, pasta and main). In the end, my friends ordered pasta dishes (lasagna and ravioli, both about $20) and I order a main (veal chop, about $30). After we ordered, the waiter gave us a bread basket (about 6 small pieces of bread) and a basil, balsamic reduction olive oil dip. It was a very nice dip and good compliment with the bread. At first I could not figure out the herb, so I asked our waiter. He was overly excited to give me a LECTURE on the dip. The resaturant was not full, only a table with party of 8, which already order soon after we were seated, besides the 3 of us. However, it took the restaurant a good 45 minutes to serve us our food. Although the pasta were freshly made daily, but we were sure the lasagna and ravioli were made already. Also, the veal chop did not take that long to cook. How is it possible to take this long when you have 5 chefs working? At least our waiter was nice enough to bring us another round of bread without us asking. We were also serve an intermediate course between bread and our courses, compliementary of the restaurant, to clean our palette. FOOD: Florence fennel and pink grapefruit salad (on the house) - for palette cleansing after the bread, before our meal. It tasted okay, but I don't think the bitterness of the florence fennel and the sourness of the pink grapefruit went well together. Lasagna - The portion size was okay. Nice texture of the fresh pasta, but the filling was nothing special. Ravioli - Considerably small portion for the price ($20 for 9-10 ravilois). Nice texture of the fresh pasta and very flavourful filling (goat cheese). Veal Chop - Nice portion. The veal was very tender, but lack beefy flavour. The sauce was nice but a bit salty for my liking. The sautee vegetables tasted good, but not memorable. DESSERT: When we finished our main course, our waiter CLUMPSILY cleaned the table. He even dropped an utensil onto the floor. He returned and asked whether we would like any dessert or wine or coffee. We politely decline. He then said the following, "LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT DESSERT IN CASE YOU DECIDE TO RETURN". I am sorry? What did he implied? Once again, we received another LECTURE on the dessert menu. The desserts were: flourless chocolate torte, penna cotta, tiramsiu and some baked cake with fruits (berries?). It was interesting that the server explained the FLOURLES CHOCOLATE TORTE to us as a CHOCOLATE CAKE WITHOUT FLOUR. I guess our watier believed that the 3 of were not culinary savy enough to know that. For the record, we know what are flourless chocolate cake, penna cotta and tiramisu are and how to make them. As we exited the restaurant, we passed by the kitchen, the same chef said good bye to us.

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Restaurantica12
By

Closest thing to real Italian food

La Cucina has an open concept with the kitchen at the front of the building open to the dining room. The ambiance is very romantic with interesting artwork although it can get a bit loud if you are nearer the kitchen. This place is all about Italian food, featuring a seasonal menu and dishes from different parts of Italy. The service is very good, although on busy nights you can be left waiting a little. On the hand they do not rush you, while deciding and are knowledgeable about the dishes. The antipastos were great, one was thinly sliced beef and the other was Mozzerella di Buffala was amazing, if you've never had fresh mozzerella before have it. We each had a pasta dish and it was very good, very well prepared. If you've eating in Italy the portions are very well managed and the same here, so you never feel too full, but not hungry. Don't expect to get a heaping pile of food here. They only use the best ingredients and I suppose that justifies the cost. Their wine list has all Italian wines, starting at $35 a bottle for a house red or white. Overall I had a very pleasant experience at La Cucina, a true place for special occasions. I have not had the opportunity to sit out on their terrace yet.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

I've heard that this is a great fine dining...

I've heard that this is a great fine dining eatery hdere in Guelph. After living here for only a year we decided to give it a try. We were accommadated on short notice, only after they recieved a cancelation. (only later to discover we had originally been turned away when the entire dining room was sitting empty! Strange way for a restaurant to turn away any business during these tough times). We well greated and sat quickly. Our server was nice and seemed atentive at first but was interested in talking about themselves, and their family. When placing our orders a large group arrived and was seated at the adjacent tables. The new large group seemed to be beyond the capacity of the staff and management to deal with. With 10 minutes we could no longer carry on a conversation as we could not hear one another over the noise. The staff and managment took no action and seemed to return to the terrace only to run food. We would have walked out at this point but had been served our wine and wanted to be fair and give the kitchen a chance to win us over if the service staff could not. After being moved to the empty dining room at our request our food began to arrive. Only over 1 hour into our visit. The grilled calamari was not what any of us expected, we were served cold sliced calamari that grilled at another time. the arugula that it was served on was wilted, browning and flat as far as flavor, the only seasoning used was lemon. A poorly cut slice lying forgotton on the side of the plate and some wdeges hidden in the greens that came with a generous portion of seeds, no seasoning. A cold app when we all expected a warm grilled app, and referred to that when we ordering. The pasta and gnocchi course was acceptable, however with the wait, now over 1.5hours our group was not won over. We felt we were forgotten about, and were left wanting a wine list for a second bottle (again strange business practice not selling wine) or water refills. Our mains would be easliy forgotten had they not been cooked incorrectly, the temperatures were not close 2 MR's were MW's, the potatos had not been roasted that night. For the cost of mains (which is still a reasonable range) I certainly did not recieve what I was billed for, 2 lamb chops, 2 small new potatoes and 1 small patti pan squash. All I can say is well done! This experience was consistantly bad and bland throughout the evening. The follow up on our complaint that we not served what we ordered was clumsy at best, were offered desserts that we did not want and had to ask for an alternative solution then were given desserts that we had said that we did not want! It seems very arrogant to assume that you already know what would make your customers happy instead of listening to them when they are trying to tell you. If La Cucina already new how to make us happy we would not have been complaining after allowing every them every chance to make us want to return. We had to point out after the mains arrived that we were waiting for the wine list so we could have something with our meals. What is written on the menu did not translate to what came on our plate. The service was inconsistant, Customers should not have to turn in their seeats after becoming frustrated from being forgotten and ignored. We would have no problem sitting for three hours for three courses had they all been well done and cooked entirely during our visit. La Cucina, sorry you have a great space, ok concept but displayed poor judgement on how you run operations, I was embarrased for you since you did not display enought sense do be embarrased by your own poor performance. Never again,

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 2/5
Service: 2/5
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Restaurantica12
By

What a delightfully delicious experience! My...

What a delightfully delicious experience! My husband and I went here for my birthday and we each had four courses plus a bottle of wine. It was totally worth it. The atmosphere is amazing (the walls are lined with the original stone), the waiter was excellent, and the food was incredible. My husband is Italian, and he absolutely loved it. We are both big foodies and have been to fine dining restaurants all over the world. This was one of our best experiences of all time. They even brought out a little torte with a candle for me at the end, which was sweet. I have no idea how anyone could give it one star, but I'm guessing that someone is trying to sabotage their reputation. The best part is the open kitchen, where you can sit and watch the chefs prepare all the delicious dishes. I'd never had game hen before, and it was prepared beautifully. Probably the best meal I've ever eaten at a restaurant. The fresh, seasonal, beautifully prepared Italian cuisine is the substance needed to make La Cucina effortlessly elegant and hands down the best restaurant in Guelph.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

I have to say I am fussy about Italian food...

I have to say I am fussy about Italian food. Having eaten many great meals in Italy, I (perhaps unfairly) hold Italian restaurants outside of Italy to very high standards. I was assured that La Cucina would impress me, so I agreed to try it. The restaurant, practically anonymous from the outside and up a flight of stairs, is a large room with an open kitchen at one end, and a terrace used in summer. We were welcomed and our coats taken before being shown our table. First, a word about the service. It was friendly, but sometimes erratic. I was asked twice if I wanted a glass of white to start, having refused the first time, and not yet knowing what I was eating. Also, at every course, I was asked if everything was all right. This is something I object to. If it ain’t all right, trust me, I’ll tell you. But beyond that, good service involves being sensitive to a diner’s reactions and realising for yourself that something is amiss. For example, one time in a small family-run restaurant in Sardinia, the dish my wife ordered was not what she expected it to be. She didn’t like it, and her lack of enthusiasm was clear to the owner within 60 seconds, He was by her side in a flash, and she explained what was wrong. He whisked away the dish and brought an alternative, no extra charge. That’s service. The menu at La Cucina is short and changes regularly, with a different Italian region featured. I found this a bit of a gimmick, but the menu is short, three or four choices per course, which is always a good sign. They also follow the Italian tradition of offering an appetiser, pasta and main courses, although you don’t have to have all three, and the pasta comes in a smaller size if you wish. Meals are served with crusty bread and olive oil infused with herbs. My dining companion opted for the Parma prosciutto accompanied by seasonal fruit and gnocchi, while I had the octopus salad with limoncello dressing. The octopus was very tender, and the lemon dressing had just the right consistency and tang. An excellent start. I followed this with a small portion of papardelle, wide flat noodles, in a tomato and boar ragu. The pasta is made fresh and was fantastic, but the sauce was a little on the bland side. I expect a game-based sauce to have some oomph to it, and this one didn’t. However, it did contain generous chunks of boar. We both continued with grilled lamb loin chops finished with rosemary, lemon, anchovy oil and black truffle sauce. These were served medium-rare as requested, and were very tender. The rosemary, lemon and anchovy oil worked well, and the sauce was fine. Three desserts were offered, the ubiquitous tiramisu, a flourless chocolate cake, and panna cotta. To his credit, the server gave me time to think, as it was a tough choice. In the end, I went with the panna cotta, which was served with pear slices. It was light and delicious. At $32, the 2006 Bersan Barbera made a nice accompaniment. The bill for two came to $200 including taxes and tip, although you can have just a couple of courses for much less. I wouldn’t say this is the best Italian meal that I have eaten outside Italy, but I was impressed with the imagination shown on the limited menu and the quality and freshness of the ingredients. The skill of the chef in bringing it all together is also evident. If you are looking for an Italian food fix in the Guelph area, this is certainly the place to come..

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 3/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Fabulous!

My husband & I were spending the night in Guelph and, after finding most restaurants fully booked, were told to try La Cucina. We did, and are we ever glad! We had the best service - very friendly but unobtrusive. While waiting for our table (we arrived early for our reservation) we were offered a seat at the open kitchen where we watched the chefs preparing and plating meals. By the time we were seated we were starving! Each dish was excellent - beautifully presented, using fresh, top quality ingredients - and I was offered the secret to their incredible mushroom risotto. We dined on the terrace, which was beautiful and enjoyed one of the finest, most romantic meals we've ever had. We will definitely be back!

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

SUPERB CUISINE

An engaging little restaurant in the heart of Guelph that easily wins your heart and palate. The calamari was tender, the seabass delicate and the risotto WOW!!! While we sipped on cosmos, we enjoyed this private patio setting surrounded by the sweet fragrances from different potted herbs and flowers. Very European! After waiting quite a long time for our table, it was well worth it. The risotto was to die for as I've been searching high and low for this particular taste and consistency, reminiscent of my last trip to the fashion district of Milan! Very hard to find! Our impression of the waiters scrambling around to try and accommodate the long line of customers at the door was a little discerning. All in all, it was a very enjoyable dining experience. Ciao!

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 3/5
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Restaurantica12
By

I found that the food lacked and service was very...

I found that the food lacked and service was very poor. Perkaps the original chef should get hired back?

Atmosphere: 1/5
Food: 1/5
Service: 1/5
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Restaurantica12
By

A totally fantastic experience - it's not just...

A totally fantastic experience - it's not just going for a meal, it's going out for a night of fine dining in an authentic Italian atmosphere! Waiters very knowledgable (explained every dish to my parents, who were eating Italian food for the first time). Excellent recommendations on wine and portions were not oversized, so you could enjoy everything to the last drop - just perfect! Went home with a full belly and rosy cheeks - do not pass this restaurant up - you will be missing out! See you again soon, next time in the summer so we can sit on the terrace!

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

The food was fantastic. The atmosphere is very...

The food was fantastic. The atmosphere is very simple yet elegant. The house wine was very nice too. All in all an excellent dining experience and I would wholeheartedly recommend this spot for a nice dinner out. This is my third time dining there and I've not been disappointed yet.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Snobish service and food was mediocore at best...

Snobish service and food was mediocore at best. Very overpriced for what we ate

Atmosphere: 1/5
Food: 1/5
Service: 1/5
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Restaurantica12
By

We frequent LaCucina and feel it is by far the...

We frequent LaCucina and feel it is by far the best restaurant in Guelph. My wife and I love to eat and have dined at some of the best restaurants in the world. The chef, Marurizio, could easily hold his own in larger cities like Toronto with his creativity and quality of food. The service is outstanding as they anticipate our needs and consistently go out of their way to accomodate us. Although the prices are not cheap, you pay for what you get and they are reasonable for fine dining. More restaurants in Guelph could follow LaCucina's lead for uniqueness, professionalism and dining experience.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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