The Italian Bistro located in Porters Neck off Market Street just celebrated its 10th anniversary.
“Like the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun,” said owner Jason James. “Well, it’s been a fun 10 years. I have an amazing staff, some who were here when I purchased the restaurant and are still here today.”
The restaurant recently held a raffle in honor of its milestone. Three hundred raffle tickets were sold to raise money for a local charity. “I read an article recently about NourishNC, and I thought they had a great mission feeding hungry kids healthy food,” James said. “When the raffle/donation idea came about, it was a no-brainer.”
A check worth $1,500 will be delivered to the charity later this week, he said.
This is the third family-owned Italian restaurant for James.
The Italian Bistro is centered around “family,” and it is not uncommon to find James’s son, wife and mother-in-law in the restaurant helping out in various capacities. From traditional-style New York pizza to gluten-free pasta, all dishes are made to order, homemade and prepared with fresh ingredients. There are also vegetarian pizza options available. Weekly pizza and pasta specials run Monday through Thursdays, with a “Create your own pasta and a half-price bottle of wine” offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Chef Jason Raynor is a Wilmington native and has been a part of the North Carolina culinary scene for 22 years. His first restaurant job was delivering pizza at age 16. This is not the first collaboration for the “Jasons”. They have been in business together since 2000. Raynor has been James’ executive chef at Italian Bistro in downtown Wilmington and Sauce Italian Grille outside Charlotte.
James expects a busy upcoming holiday season, and with that, a ramp-up of their catering business through the bistro’s sister company, Bistro Catering.