LaVoglia, a new, upscale Italian restaurant, will be opening this summer in Oak Crossing. Owned by Alfredo Kulici, who owns and operates the popular New York Pizza & Pasta and French Quarter Bar & Grill restaurants in East Texas, LaVoglia will offer classic Italian cuisine, along with seafood, steak and Mediterranean dishes.
Kulici is originally from Albania and grew up in northern Italy. The youngest of nine children, he says his home growing up was like a restaurant, with fresh, good food at the center of their family life. He trained classically as a French chef, and emigrated to the United States in 2003, after a vacation led him to Dallas, where he donned the chef’s hat in a friend’s restaurant. He was an instant hit and decided to make his home in Texas, and now owns a string of restaurants there.
Kulici is following the growth taking place in Southwest Louisiana and using this new location to open a different kind of restaurant, one that will return him to his childhood culinary roots of fine, handmade Italian pasta and fresh bread.
“LaVoglia, which means ‘the dream,’ will give me and the four members of my family who will be joining me at the restaurant, the chance to prepare and serve the kind of food we love best,” says Kulici. “We are very excited about this new venture and can’t wait for Southwest Louisiana to taste our favorite family recipes, which have been handed down through generations. We love to cook and I think this will be very apparent to our customers.”
LaVoglia will encompass 4000 square feet in Oak Crossing, the 20-acre business park development located on the corner of Nelson Road and Ham Reid Road in South Lake Charles. Kulici says the restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.