You may think you’ve had Italian, but if you were born and raised in Michigan, chances are you have not. That’s according to Assunda Kazmerski, who this past summer opened the doors to Mamma Mia’s restaurant.
Mamma Mia’s, Kazmerski said, features only truly authentic Italian food, not the “Americanized” fare generally found in most national chain Italian restaurants.
“You won’t find any ranch dressing here,” Kazmerski said. Kazmerski, by the way, is Assunda’s married name; her given name in gloriously Italian and all but unpronounceable.
“My goal is to let Americans know the real Italian food,” Kazmerski said. “Your Italian food is Americanized. We have no ranch, no ketchup and everything is homemade.”
Kazmerski hails from Naples (the “best part of Italy,” according to her) and has a university degree in business. She has worked her entire career in the food industry, mostly on the corporate level as a manager trainee and district manager for a national company.
Mamma Mia’s is the culmination of Kazmerski’s many years experience, combined with a lot of prompting on the part of friends and acquaintances.
“People who know me were always asking when I was going to open a restaurant,” Kazmerski said. “So, I did. I got grounded now; I’ve got to be in the restaurant.”
Kazmerski handles all the cooking chores — as well as most other aspects of running the business — herself. To make this work, she staggers the restaurant’s hours each day. Mamma Mia’s is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., then closes for a few hours to prepare for the dinner hour, from 5 to 9 p.m.
“Every day we have something special,” she said. “I like to make something special for my customers to try, like squash soup.”
Donna Kozian, who works at nearby Kirsch’s Corner and is a frequent Momma Mia’s customer, says she was drawn to the restaurant by the authenticity of the menu there.
“(Kazmerski) is the real deal,” Kozian said.
Momma Mia’s is inside the Hotel Montcalm at 106 S. Camburn St. in downtown Stanton.