West Virginia Executive Spring 2017 - Page 123

[ lifestyle ] In the Chef’s Corner Mia Margherita MAGGIE MATSKO TRACY TOLER Chef Pamela Delaude The staff at Mia Margherita in Bridge- port, WV, is proud to be the first and only coal-fired pizzeria in the Mountain State, but Scott Duarte, operator of the restau- rant, wants people to see they have much more to offer than pizza. “When we first opened, the thinking behind the concept was to develop an au- thentic pizzeria and trattoria that served simple American-Italian dishes that celebrate the heritage of our region,” he says. “The area is rich with European influence with a strong presence of Italian, so growing up, we honored our spaghetti and meatball Sundays with fresh garlic bread and tomato salads. In reflection of that, our menu is rich with various pasta dishes, fresh soups, salads and regional favorites. We carry on the Italian tradition by proudly sourcing regional in- gredients and offering the finest imports.” Fresh ingredients are essential to the flavors of Italy, and to exhibit that impor- tance, Mia Margherita holds a farm-to-table relationship with the Bridgeport Farmers Market. “Since we believe in fresh produce from the farm to your table, we like to work with local markets, create seasonal menus and support local farmers by creating the connection with them and the community to show healthy eating values,” says Pamela Delaude, chef de cuisine, C.C., C.P.C. Guests begin their dining experience by choosing from excellent appetizers such as Mia’s Truffle Fries, Calamari Fritti and Nunnie’s Meatballs, all of which are sig- nature items. For the main course, patrons have a wide array of dishes from which to choose. The hearty entrees are Italian- style finger foods and savory snacks meant to share, such as the Gorgonzola Chicken and the Sweet Pea Chicken and Mushroom Risotto. As its specialty, Mia Margherita offers many artisanal pizzas, and guests with a flair for the creative or a picky palate can build their own masterpiece. For a sweet ending to the meal, customers can order coffee and offerings from the recently added dessert bar. Guests can enjoy their freshly baked dessert in the restaurant or take it home for later. As part of its drink menu, Mia Margherita also has an extensive list of wines, beers and cocktails. All of these dishes are brought to life through the work of Delaude. “Cooking is an art that demands hard work, respect, passion and dedication,” she says. “I like to cook with love and always be attentive to details no matter how small—from the early stages of preparing the dish until the final step of plating. The reward for the hard work comes with the expression of satis- faction on our guests’ faces. For us, there is nothing better than making people happy.” Because the staff at Mia Margherita is focused on making the dining experi- ence one centered on customer satisfac- tion, the restaurant now offers vegetarian and gluten-free options. “For a person with an allergy or food intolerance, it is difficult to find a place where they can have options, so we offer different gluten-free alternatives like pizza, pasta and sandwiches,” says Delaude. “We do not want the intolerance or allergies to be a limitation for our menu. On the contrary, we want our clients to find Mia Margherita a place where they can enjoy a pleasant meal without limitations.” Mia Margherita is located in the Charles Pointe Commons at 139 Conference Center Way and is open M