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Making Memories at Mirko

By Courtney Clark

Mirko Pasta has been bringing authentic, delicious Italian fare to Watkinsville for years. The restaurant is named for Chef Mirko Di Giacomantonio who has created a passionate atmosphere with tasty food that will have guests returning again and again. With roots not only in Italian food but also in traditional Italian passion, Mirko is an excellent choice to make new memories.

The Italian restaurant began with head chef Mirko Di Giacomantonio. Born in Tortoreto, Italy, Di Giacomantonio grew up around food. His grandmother, Rosa ? or "Noni" ? was always cooking for her family and friends. According to Mirko's website, not only did Noni teach him how to cook, but she also "imparted to him the 'love' that is embodied in freshly prepared food placed in the center of table." Di Giacomantonio carried this love with him as he traveled the world. He worked as a chef and manager in Italy, Belgium, Germany, and Romania before coming to the United States. Eventually, the Georgia's leisurely pace attracted him and was the perfect setting for his Mirko Pasta vision.

Appointing themselves as "culinary missionaries," Mirko's kitchen staff strives to provide traditional Italian flavors, smells, color, and comfort. The menu is seasonal, and the restaurant includes seasonal vegetables and fruits. In the spring and summer, the sauces are lighter; and during cooler months, the chosen sauces are heartier.

Customers can rest assured that most of the food, from bread to sauces, is made from scratch each day and the chefs use "only the freshest and most authentic ingredients available." Guests can pair any pasta with any sauce available, resulting in almost endless combinations for a new taste each time.

According to Assistant Controller Juan Mejia, one of the most popular dishes is the Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli with Granchio sauce. Years of experience were applied to this sauce that allows guests to "enjoy a trip to the Italian coast." The ravioli is filled with seafood, while the Granchio sauce is made of crab meat, white wine, diced tomato, garlic olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Of course, the menu would not be complete without many, many more options: salads, cheese, appetizers, desserts, and a wide range of wines. Diners can preface the Ravioli with a Bruschetta or Fried Calamari and Zucchini antipasto; or guests can pair the pasta with creamy Pomodoro and classic Minestrone soup.

Mejia says that Mirko is a "combination of the heart of Watkinsville and the recipes brought from the heart of Italy." Mirko's goal is simple: to share delicious food with guests while also creating a perfect setting to share and make memories with friends and family. As Di Giacomantonio himself says, "When people come to Mirko Pasta, I want them to feel like I felt when I went to my grandma's house." Guests will certainly leave with enthusiasm, happiness, and, of course, with full stomachs.

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About The Author

Courtney Clark graduated from Flagler College with a BA in English and Creative...

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