Virginia’s first Mirko Pasta restaurant opened to the general public at 11 a.m. today. It is located on the lower level of Towers Mall in Roanoke.
Co-owner Michael Boggins has lived in Roanoke for almost 16 years but this is his first foray into the restaurant business. Previously, he worked as an engineer for Rowe Furniture.
He said a soft opening/preview on Saturday went really well. There were a couple of glitches, he said, but that’s to be expected when a restaurant is brand new. In fact, Boggins and his business partner are a little nervous about me blasting the news of the opening on their first day. “While we are still in the learning curve, we don’t want to get slammed,” he said.
But some of my eagle-eyed readers have already noticed Mirko is open and sent me messages, so there’s no turning back now. Besides, it’s hard not to get excited about a restaurant that makes 95 percent of its pasta, fillings and sauces from scratch in-house.
That’s the biggest highlight at Georgia-based Mirko Pasta, where the slogan is “Pasta is our passion. Fresh pasta is our obsession.” The menu there changes seasonally and features all Italian-style foods. Appetizers include bruschetta, calamari and baked eggplant. Salads include Caesar, Caprese and a few others, such as one that caught my eye that’s made with baby organic spinach, raisins, and goat cheese with a walnut, honey and balsamic vinaigrette.
The menu online has four $11 dishes and four $13 entrees, including Tuscan style seafood stew with grilled garlic croutons, sautéed tilapia with white wine, lemon, capers, radicchio and cannellini beans, and chicken Marsala. But the majority of the rest of the menu features a build-your-own pasta option, which allows you to pick a fresh pasta ($4.50 to $5.50), a protein ($2 to $4) and a sauce ($5). For example, if I was going to order right now, I could go with cheese and spinach ravioli topped with grilled shrimp and Alfredo sauce.
Bonus: They serve gluten-free pasta!
To get a better idea of all the options, click here and scroll to the bottom of the location list, then click on the Roanoke menu. Boggins said there may be a few discrepancies (namely in the dessert list) right out of the gate. But I sure hope they have the cannolli soon because the picture on their website is making me want some.
Mirko Pasta will be open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m. Phone number is 540-685-2054.