Owner of New Hotel Mertens opens second pop-up restaurant

Penne aglio e olio with penne pasta, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and Fresno peppers. Courtesy Mertens Hospitality

The owner of a local French restaurant, café and bakery have opened a pop-up pasta restaurant on-site.

Grand Rapids-based Mertens Hospitality said Thursday it opened Pronto Pasta, which will operate out of the New Hotel Mertens restaurant location at 35 Oakes St. SW in Grand Rapids.

Pronto Pasta will offer Italian fare such as Mom’s Gravy with red tomato pork sauce made from ribs and sausage with two sausage links per order; mac and cheese with shells, housemade cheese sauce, breadcrumbs and grape tomato garnish; pesto creste de gallo with “rooster crest” pasta, basil pesto and crunchy green beans; and penne aglio e olio with penne pasta, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and Fresno peppers.

“I was born into an Italian-American culture, so we had macaroni with my mom’s gravy almost every night. It played an integral role in how our family gathered and enjoyed time together,” said Anthony Tangorra, owner of Mertens Hospitality. “Sadly, after my father passed away in 2017, my mom couldn’t bring herself to make gravy; it was just too emotional for her. That’s why I’m so thrilled to bring her recipe, along with a few others, to the people of Grand Rapids. This is an emotional endeavor for me.”

Pronto Pasta offers curbside pickup through Open Dining and delivery through GrubHub with delivery through UberEats to be added soon.

The full menu, which will also include vegan and gluten-free options, is available online at prontopastagr.com.

Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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