A Culinary Dream Comes To Life With Pasta Mia

By Jessica Maurer, posted Jun 26, 2024
For owner Maria Alexandri, Pasta Mia is the realization of a dream she’s had for many years. The pasta restaurant is now open at is now open at 4418 Shipyard Blvd. in Wilmington. (Photo courtesy of Pasta Mia)
Pasta Mia, a fast-casual restaurant featuring homemade pasta and sauces is now open at 4418 Shipyard Blvd. in Wilmington.

For owner Maria Alexandri, Pasta Mia is the realization of a dream she’s had for many years. Alexandri grew up in Greece, but her mother and grandmother both had Italian roots, so she grew up eating fresh pasta with a mix of Mediterranean flavors and ingredients.

“It was my dream to blend Greek and Italian cuisine and share it with others," Alexandri said. "My mom and grandmother taught me everything I know. Now, I'm blending those traditions with my own twist."

Pasta Mia, which translates to “my pasta,” is located in the former Flaming Amy’s Bowl location at Long Leaf Mall. The restaurant offers fresh pasta with homemade sauces and accompaniments. The pasta is made in-house with the help of a machine that forms and cuts Alexandri’s fresh dough into four different varieties: rigatoni, cavatappi, casarecce and fusilli.

“We create fresh pasta every day. The flour, water, a little bit of oil – it's a secret recipe," Alexandri said with a wink. "Everything is made from scratch, from the pasta to the sauces. This is something I would not compromise."

Customers have their choice of pasta to be mixed into dishes that include Creamy Mushroom Carbonara, Blackened Chicken or Seafood Alfredo, Beef Ragu or Yiayai Ellie’s Pastitsio, a dish named for Alexandri’s grandmother.

Other sauces include fresh pesto and a creamy pink tomato sauce with spinach, basil and fresh mozzarella. A create-your-own option is also available and all pastas are served with fresh bread. The pasta dishes range in price from $10.99 to $15.99 and kid’s meals are $6.99.

Alexandri has had the vision of opening a restaurant for years, but it was only over the last year that her dream started to take shape. A big part of that was finding the right location. While the food is all homemade, the concept is fast-casual, designed to be eaten in a casual on-site dining area or packaged for carryout.

Alexandri and her husband Yanni Papanikolaou, who has been a long-time partner in several Wilmington locations of The Greeks, felt the layout of the former Flaming Amy’s Bowl location was perfect for their concept and would require a minimal upfit.

"It's a family-owned business," Alexandri said. "Yanni has been instrumental in handling the business side of things, making the day-to-day operations run smoothly."

The couple has also secured a Hampstead location, which is under construction next to the Food Lion shopping center along U.S. 17. It’s expected to open by the beginning of next year.

Once Pasta Mia has gained its footing, Alexandri plans to offer her fresh pasta by the pound and half-pound along with prepackaged homemade sauces. They also plan to offer catering.

The restaurant is dedicated to Alexandri’s late mother, the inspiration behind many of the recipes.
"Everything started with my mom," Alexandri said. "She passed away six weeks ago, but I know she's proud of what we've created. I dedicate this restaurant to her. It was a challenging journey, but seeing it all come together is incredibly rewarding.”

Pasta Mia is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
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