Our Story

LaCantina StoryThe inspiration for this establishment began more than 79 years ago with the vision of our founders, Amo and Rose Scotese. When Rose was invited to cook for her neighbor's friends, the guests quickly discovered that her food was a delicacy, and her neighbor convinced her to open a restaurant. From the sauce to the bread, all the food is handmade, and the business just grew and grew. Over the years they mastered, through their Italian Heritage, the fine recipes which evolved from decades of European family tradition, and a true commitment to perfection.

Later, their nephew from Chicago returned to Kalamazoo, bringing with him the idea for pizza. La Cantina began baking pizzas—the first ones to offer pizza in the area. The pizzas were so popular that they would freeze and ship them throughout the country. We have continued serving our patrons with pride and a tradition of excellence to make your dining experience pleasurable and memorable.

Amo and RoseLike Amo and Rose, who believed in faith, hard work and their family, we are proud to carry on and present to you our devotion and love for our heritage and our restaurant. We would like to extend our gratitude and thanks to the generations of patrons over the years who have helped make this all possible.


Fresh. Creative. Always homemade.


"I like to drink wine more than I used to!" — V. Corleone

Whether you prefer to cool off with a refreshing sparkling Rosé on a hot summer day or engage in long, spirited conversations over bottles of Sangiovese, La Cantina's extensive wine list has something for you. We have partnered with our wine purveyors to bring in wines from around the world, with special attention devoted to Italy. On the floor, our staff are available to guide guests with their wine selections.

We are a Wine Tasters Guild affiliate, come join us for the annual fall dinner!

With fine wine, delicious dinners and delicate desserts, guests have trouble finding reasons to leave — La Cantina has become Paw Paw's top hot spot.