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“Sweet time, great food” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ciao Bistro

Ciao Bistro
302 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, FL 32034-0806
904-206-4311
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Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout, Late Night, Dessert
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Sweet time, great food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Arrived early for dinner, spotted the best seat in the house at the windowless two-seater. It was just the two of us, me and my 7-year-old daughter, after a long day at Egan's Creek and Fort Clinch. Although we did not know at the time we were speaking to the owner outside on the bench, he assured us, YES, you are dressed perfectly fine (we were casual). My daughter was thrilled with the "Oh soo yummy" kid-sized fettucinni alfredo with chicken and chocolate cake. I had the Zuppa seafood dish of scallops, shrimp, calamari, and poached salmon (that literally melted in my mouth) really incredible, and tiramisu. The owner was very attention to everyone who came in, and by 7pm the restaurant was filled on a Monday evening. Our best dinner for sure. Thanks for a wonderful and memorable meal!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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509 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    328
    103
    47
    11
    20
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Fernandina Beach, Florida
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“I will not go back!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

There was a table of about 15 in the middle of the dining room -- they were loud and out of control! Napkins on their heads, standing up cheering, and yelling from one end of the table to the other. The owner / manager would do nothing to quiet them. Additionally the acoustics are terrible.

Food was fair, service was fair, and the bill was wrong. It was not the nice dining experience we expected. Napkins on the table does not make it an up-scale restaurant.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MIAMI
Top Contributor
807 reviews 807 reviews
463 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 216 cities Reviews in 216 cities
310 helpful votes 310 helpful votes
“Very busy restaurant, good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

The word has spread about this new Italian eatery as the restaurant was full on a Monday night, with crowds waiting to get in. The pizzas were delicious,more like flat bread dough, thin and crispy.
We had one with tomatoes, caramelized onions, and goat cheese, and another with tomatoes, eggplant, mozzarella and mushrooms. Both came with arugula on top. We also had the sausage, with couscous and arugula. Everyone left happy and full. The owner is very personable and makes you feel welcome, as does the waitstaff. Restaurant can get noisy when it is busy.
The dining room has tablecloths, while the inner patio, and the outer patio (that is covered) do not.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Port Orange, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best Italian food!!! Def a must go to place on the island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012 via mobile

This place is amazing!!! We both had the lasagna last night and it was soooo good! The place had an hour wait but it was worth ever minute. We will def be back next time we visit the island

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“My first one-star review”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Awful, just awful.

My wife and I came here for a little "us time."

I called ahead and asked for a reservation. They said there were not taking any that night, but if we came at the requested time (in 30 minutes), no problem. As you can guess, we show up at the time, and they tell us to wait at the bar because there are no tables. We look at two tables for two-tops within 20 feet from us. Okay, maybe there is a good reason for this.

We sit at the bar, and I order a glass of wine and the wife tried the house sangria. The wine was fine, the sangria was awful. It was near or totally alcohol free. But the flavor was the problem - they use a lot of funky spices. Think of what it would be like to drink Old Spice.

So after 30 minutes or so, the bartender sees we're growing impatient and tells us three times he'll "take care of us." Apparently taking care of us meant doing nothing, because that is precisely what he did. How did pouring glasses of wine for other customers help us. About 30 minutes later the owner comes over after I eyeball him with that desperate look. He seats us at one of the tables that was empty the whole time. Uhhhm...

Looking past this, we ordered the peppers appetizer, the wife had some simple pasta dish, and I did the eggplant parmesan. Another couple sat next to us fifteen minutes later. I hate to be competitive with another innocent couple next to us, but they got their food first. Fine. But they finished their dinner before we even got anything. I flag down the server, who says sorry, she'll check on it. She reports back that the kitchen is busy and working on it. Just say the order was lost; I can take it.

We're waiting and waiting, and then discuss just walking out. The food finally makes it. The pasta is dry and sucks. The eggplant parm was okay. Portions are stingy. Waitress says sorry, and does not even comp the wine and Old Spice/sangria.

Worst dining experience in several years.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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