La Famiglia: Family Italian restaurants bookend Destin

Savannah Vasquez
La Famiglia Italian Ristorante & Pizza’s new location in the Destin Commons.

Upon entering the La Famiglia Italian Ristorante & Pizza at the HarborWalk Village or in the new Destin Commons location, you will immediately feel whisked away to Italy. That is because the family behind the restaurants, la famiglia Rella, hail from Rome, Italy. Stepania and Pino Rella moved to Destin 10 years ago with their daughters, Michela, Francesca and Valentina, to open their Italian restaurants on the sunny Gulf Coast.

“We are really Italian,” said Valentina, the youngest of the three Rella sisters. “Everything we do is homemade; the sauce, the pasta, the bread, nothing we do it frozen. We love what we do. It’s not just a job, we just like it.”

La Famiglia first opened in Destin in 2009, and became so popular that the family expanded to two locations three years later. Today, the family is announcing the move from their original location at 300 Harbor Blvd., to a more spacious spot in the Destin Commons.

“In the original location the building was really old,” said Valentina. “Now we bookend Destin with one at the entrance and one at the very end.”

The menu at La Famiglia Italian Ristorante & Pizza is filled with rich and delectable Italian cuisine, all family recipes that have been passed down for generations.

“They are all my grandmother’s recipes,” said Valentina. “My grandmother used to pick the freshest foods and cook all day for the evening meal, and even into the next day. My mother and grandmother, they were always in the kitchen.”

Meal offerings at both locations span from pastas and pizzas to local seafood with an Italian twist; and of course there are always signature Italian wines and desserts.

“We have grouper, mahi-mahi, cobia and steak,” said Valentina. “And we have a homemade white lasagna that people love. We also have soups and we do desserts like tiramisu, cannoli and fruit tarts; every week we do something different.”

The new La Famiglia location in the Destin Commons seats 175 people with dining available both indoors and outdoors. One of the exciting new aspects added to the Commons location is live entertainment.

“We will do live music there on the weekends from Thursday through Sunday and always have a full bar,” said Valentina.

A Grand opening for the Destin Commons La Famiglia location is scheduled later this month following a formal ribbon cutting. For more information visit or call 424-5795.

The two La Famiglia restaurants are located at 2 Harbor Blvd. in the HarborWalk Village and at 4260 Legendary Dr., in the Destin Commons. Hours of operation for both locations are Monday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.