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“great food, hurried service” 4 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
new jersey
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“great food, hurried service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

We arrived 7 on a Wed. with a reservation. We were seated promptly.
Impressive menu. The chef/owner came by to greet us. Nice touch.
No full bar so we would have anticipated more choices of wine by the glass. There was only one special but the food was excellent and the atmosphere sort of NYC hustle and bustle.
The major drawback is that we felt rushed from the outset. A dinner with an appetizer, main course and dessert with wine shouldn't be over in an hour. And my pet peeve, being given the check without asking.
Also...while they serve cappuccino and espresso...no decaffeinated version.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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528 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
florida
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Tasty and Fun Italian Bistro on Centre Street”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Ciao is a nice Italian bistro with a pleasant atmosphere and a fun owner that goes above and beyond to help ensure a positive dining experience. Luca likes to greet each guest at the front door and welcome them home to "his place." The recent expansion of Ciao has given him and his staff the opportunity to expand the menu, the bar offerings, the seating capacity, etc. The new location is an improvement from the Yulee strip mall. It allows for strolling downtown before or after dining and also provides a comfortable place to wait if there is not a table readily available. My favorites on the new expanded menu include the thin crust pizzas, spaghetti and meatballs, the beet salad, the veal chop and the sausage with pasta entree. The tiramisu is a great way to finish off the meal. There is also an expanded wine list with more choices for both whites and reds. It has been busy with the new opening, but, we think it is worth the wait. We have been there twice in the last few weeks and only had to wait 5-10 minutes for a table. Ciao is defintely worth a try.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fernandina Beach, Florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Bigger and Better”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

We have been to Ciao 3 times at the new location and we think Luca has hit a home run!! (unlike MRossJax, I will at least spell the restaurant name correctly). We were regulars at the Yulee location and now are following Luca to his new location on Centre Street. In the newly remodeld surroundings and with a bigger and better kitchen, he is putting out great tasting food. The new menu offers some nice choices for all apetite sizes and with ample variety. Luca gives you the choice to dive into a hearty veal chop or steak or make many options and just sample smaller items and graze. His staff is consistently friendly and attentive...Talia and Piper are awesome!! It is always great to see a local business succesfully grow and be able to continue to offer a quality product to visitors and local regulars alike. Our favorites include the thin crust pizzas, lasagne, roasted beet salad, meatballs, the mussels, and the chicken Ciao. He added many nice wines to the wine list with choices from Italy, Spain, California, and more. Ciao is definitley worth the trip!!!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington, dc
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“A gem in northeast Florida!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012 via mobile

Best pizza ever! I'm not a fan of crust so the paper thin crust of Ciao's pizza was just right for me. We were in a hurry to make a movie but wanted to try Ciao as 2 people had recommended it. We were not disappointed!

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Fernandina Beach, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Outgrown Ability In A New Loaction... Food Good Not Great!!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

I hate to give my old favorite resturaunt a bad review... But... Luca, the owner has far outgrown his ability to manage what used to be a quaint, authentic Italian Bistro. This is only the second review I have written on Trip Advisor. The first was an Outstanding review foar a particular resturaunt.... This one.... NOT so much!!! We have now been two times to Caio's new location in downtown Fernandina. Unfortunately, both experiences have been far less than average from a service standpoint. The food... Good but not Great. And.... Certainly not what it used to be!!! We were very tolerant the first visit because it was Luca's(owner) second night in a new location and you have to expect any resturaunt to work out through opening "glitches" with new staff etc. I convinced our reluctant group to give Caio a second chance last night. That experience was far worse than the first. Luca has lost his touch... and his flare for customer service which was his whole secret to success at his old location. Luca, and Caio, had developed an incredible and unmatched following of repeat customers and FRIENDS because of his personality and attention to detal. Expansion and the new location has gone to his head. His local following is dwindling fast!! Our experience last night was terrible and only made worse by Luca's response to our table of six. It will be a LONG time before we revisit our OLD favorite resturaunt. Best of luck!! Luca.... Never forget what used to be your secret to success.... Customer Service!! Anyone can put food on a plate and a check on the table.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 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.

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