Stroll to La Strada

The new Main Street eatery offers everything from paninis to pinot to pana cotta.


We’ve wanted to try La Strada ever since it opened on Main Street in Vineyard Haven a month ago, and I finally found some time to mosey inside last Friday. The cozy ambiance gets a 10 out of 10 for its abundance of perfectly stocked Italian specialty items (I wanted a jar of tuna-stuffed chili peppers) and its icebox filled with premade salads, tiramisu, panna cotta, and spiffy cold drinks. The downstairs is truly charming, with brick walls and cooler temps; there is seating downstairs, but it also serves as a wine cellar. Once again, I was reminded how little I know about all the different types of wine. I’d be curious to find out what a wine lover thinks of this sweet spot.

Though I may not know wine, I do know a delicious sandwich when I taste one.

If you’re at all familiar with Salvatore’s Ristorante around the corner on Union Street, you’ll recognize the fare at La Strada (translation: The Street). All the delicious and authentic meats and cheeses have traveled up around the corner to make up these delicious lunchtime options. I asked what the top three sandwich choices were so far, and staff highlighted them for me: the Chicken Pesto Panini ($16.99), with olive oil, chicken breast, housemade pesto, arugula, cherry tomatoes, and stracciatella (an Italian cheese, which is basically the inside of the burrata); La Strada ($20) is made up of pancetta, prosciutto, mortadella, capocollo, stracciatella, olives, cherry tomatoes, and a balsamic glaze; and the Dolce Vita ($20) with olive oil, arugula, chicken breast, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, pistachio pesto, and confit tomatoes. I know what you’re thinking: $20 for a sandwich? Discovering we split each sandwich three ways should allay your financial fears, which I’m pretty sure are the same as mine. (I don’t mind paying more as long as I know I can get at least two meals out of something.) What was my favorite? It’s a tossup between the Dolce Vita and the Chicken Pesto Panini, but honestly, it was all delicious.

I brought the three top sandwiches home, and shared them at the office too. Everything had the same fresh flavor you’ll find at Salvatore’s, except you’ll also find Italian exports, fine wines, homemade desserts, Italian specialty entrées, espresso, and more available for takeout at La Strada. There’s even a little lunch counter where you can do some people-watching while you eat.

La Strada, also owned and operated by Salvatore Della Torre, Dusan Veselinovic, and Nikola Stalovic, will be open year-round, just like its home base, Salvatore’s. I’d recommend setting aside a little time to check out this gem before the busy summer sets in. I’m still kicking myself for not bringing home some tiramisu.