Best Mom-and-Pop Restaurant - 2008
La Piccola Cucina - CLOSED
There are so many different reasons that restaurants can find success, but somehow La Piccola Cucina has achieved a trifecta of good food (homestyle Mediterranean dishes), adorable ambiance (it's in a beautifully restored 1924 house), and personal service. How personal, you ask? Well, chances are, you'll meet owners Andy and Debbie Pappas on your first visit, and they'll go out of their way to treat you right and make you feel like this is where you belong. Debbie, a retired flight attendant, will shower you with motherly attention, whether you're trying to pick a panino or just narrow down your gelato choices. And Andy, a restaurant industry veteran who's also a trained actor, will probably burst into song at some point. Seriously, the guy loves to schmooze, and if he's in a good mood, he might even serenade you. Of course, we crave the delicious, affordable menu here, and the location's close enough to downtown that we can swing a visit on our lunch break. But the Pappases really make La Piccola Cucina a place to love.