Ciao Italian Kitchen (Say Hello to More Italian Food)

23 Jan

Continuing with our exploration of new Italian places we finally tried out Ciao Italian Kitchen last week. Ciao is located on the north side of the swanky Waterfront development right off of Webb. The same location fostered restaurant failures such as Piztros and at least one other venture. The restaurant is conveniently located right next to the New Balance store in case you are looking for quality footwear after a satisfying Italian meal.

Ciao was doing a decent lunch crowd when we ventured in on a Sunday afternoon. The inside is spacious and open with large windows offering views of the lovely Waterfront property. In case you have some restless children with you, all the tables are covered with white paper with several crayons provided for cheap entertainment.

Once seated our friendly waitress rattled off some drink specials including an Italian Sangria. This sounded like an appropriate drink for a Sunday afternoon, so several of us in the group indulged in what was a rather refreshing beverage. The menu a Ciao was daunting to say the least. It included pizzas, calzones, salads, and innumerable pasta dishes.  While we poured over the menu, several small loaves of crusty bread were served with the obligatory olive oil for dipping. While waiting for the rest of our party to arrive we decided an order of toasted ravioli was needed as an appetizer. After a few minutes wait we were enjoying large raviolis that tasted as good as they looked.

The raviolis were popular and  proved an illusive subject to photo. Note the Sangria in the foreground

For our entrees I ordered the Pasta Puttanesca and Steph decided to try the Pasta Del Mare.  Both of us received generous portions of pasta. The Puttanesca was a bowl of spaghetti with a red sauce that was slightly spicy. There  were also slices of sausage, chicken, and a large meatball. I really enjoyed my dish. The spaghetti was not overcooked and had been properly mixed with the red sauce. My meatball was alright and the sausage had a good kick to it.

Pasta Puttanesca

Steph’s pasta dish was alfredo based with an abundance of seafood. I thought the alfredo sauce was a bit bland, but on the other hand it was a bit lighter than some alfredo sauces, so it worked with the lighter nature of the scallops, shrimp, and calamari bits. Steph would have liked larger scallops, as the “mini” ones were a bit tough and chewy. If you are squeamish about eating calamari tentacles you should probably avoid the Del Mare because it was full of chewy tentacle goodness. Everyone else in our party enjoyed their selections at Ciao.

Pasta Del Mare choc full o’ tentacles

Of the three new Italian restaurants we have tried Ciao is the most family friendly and best bang for your buck establishment. If you are looking for a good traditional Italian meal that will leave you satisfied this is your place. While the food is not as high end as Bocconcini or Luca  it sure beats Olive Garden, unless of course you really need never-ending salad and bread sticks laced with crack.

 

 
Ciao Italian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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3 Responses to “Ciao Italian Kitchen (Say Hello to More Italian Food)”

  1. Michelle Strecker January 24, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    Jeff ordered the Pasta Del Mare when we went the first time also. The calamari was chewy and we both agreed the sauce was bland. We both enjoyed the ravioli appetizer and bread. The giant plastic water glass that was taller than the straw was an oddity however. It saved the wait staff time in refilling our glass but it definitely added some “cheapness” to the experience.

  2. Rachael Warrington April 13, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    This has become our new favorite restaurant. If you haven’t tried it you really need to.

  3. Veronica April 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Finally went here, but totally forgot about your review and that I wanted to try the pasta puttanesca until now, going back to my KS Restaurants to try Pinterest board! I had the pizza Margharita (so good) with salad (so good) and a mocha (would have been better if I’d stirred the chocolate from the bottom that I didn’t know was there into the drink. In fairness, we were there at 11 am and the bartender that usually makes the coffee drinks wasn’t there…otherwise I hope that it would have been more homogenous). Also I got to share a fried mozzarella appetizer that was amazeballs. The joint was yumtastic! Next time, pasta puttanesca!

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