A Roanoke family recipe finds new home

By Beth Harms Miller for Chronicle Media

The Farmstead owner Tina Monge Kraft points out pictures of her family members that worked at The Club 116 in Roanoke. (Photo by Beth Harms Miller/for Chronicle Media)

The taste of the Italian tomato pasta sauce may be the same, but the location in Roanoke is different!

Seventy-three years after her grandfather and grandmother Monge, opened The Club 116, their granddaughter Tina Monge Kraft opened The Farmstead in early June at 610 W. Front St. in Roanoke, offering meals using some of the same family recipes.

Walking into the restaurant, Kraft or one of her 10 employees greets the customers with “Welcome to the Farmstead where we offer a small taste of Italy!”

The Monge family originated in Italy and have been making family recipes for generations. Kraft shared that some of her greatest memories are from her childhood in her grandparent’s restaurant. It was a family restaurant where her great uncle Bob, her father Myron, and uncle Alan and great aunt Mag all helped make homemade pasta and sauce from 1950-75. Kraft’s Dad Myron comes into her newest restaurant to make about 60 gallons of red meat sauce a week at the Farmstead.

Kraft, who bubbles with energy, helps with all the jobs alongside her employees. She has always been business minded.

“I am not afraid of work even though some afternoons I do go home and rest before I go back to the restaurant at 4 p.m.,” she said.

She started in the pizza business after her graduation from Roanoke-Benson High School in 1984. Later she operated a restaurant in Princeville for many years. When asked about why she started this new business at 57 years old, she says “I just love the restaurant business. There is still more in me. I have cooked my entire life and it makes me happy.”

Kraft shares with her employees, “Food has to have personality. The prettier it looks, the better it is. I am so thankful for all the good help that I have here. They look at the food as if it were their own.”

The Farmstead is open from 10:30 am. to 2 p.m. and from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

For the first three months of operation there was a different menu for both lunch and dinner. “Starting Oct. 1, both menus have been combined, Kraft said. “So many of our older customers that came in at lunchtime wanted items off the dinner menu. I decided why not offer both to better meet the wants of my customers.”

The menu has been combined to offer pasta dishes, seafood dinners, appetizers, salads, chicken dinners, steak, side dishes, burgers, sandwiches, a signature dessert, kids’ menu and drinks with free refills.

When asked what was the most popular items ordered, Kraft said, “Combination of spaghetti and tortellini with meat pasta sauce and their fettuccine dishes are the most popular but their Farmstead Burgers are just a popular, too!”