Chef-Owner Mark DeRusso has built a career on his passion for the culinary arts. And, true to his birthright, he specializes in the Italian cuisine of his heritage. Chef DeRusso, a graduate of the Hudson County Culinary Institute in Jersey City, N.J., developed his skills working for several restaurants before taking the plunge to open his own in July 2000. La Strada embodies all of Chef DeRusso’s philosophies of what makes Italian cuisine a worldwide favorite—a comfortable setting, gracious service, and soul-satisfying food crafted from the freshest seasonal ingredients.
Along with traditional Italian favorites such as Chicken Marsala, homemade lasagna, and Shrimp Scampi, Chef DeRusso has developed a number of dishes that are distinctively his own. Chicken DeRusso features chicken breast rolled with prosciutto ham, mozzarella cheese, and herbs, finished with a Madeira-mushroom sauce, and Duck a’ La Strada features crispy roasted duckling served in a sauce of cranberries and port wine, finished with fresh mushrooms. His Seafood Pasta Absolut (lobster tail, shrimp, and scallops in Absolut Citron vodka cream sauce with sundried tomatoes over linguini) is always a favorite with customers. Paired with the perfect wine (La Strada features the largest selection of Italian wines of any restaurant in St. Augustine), you will be transported! Chef DeRusso flexes his creative muscle on a weekly basis with innovative specials or making food to order upon request, proof of his improvisational culinary skill.