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“Crowded, loud, and....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ciao Bistro

Ciao Bistro
302 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, FL 32034-0806
+1 904-206-4311
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Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian, Pasta
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Restaurant details
Good for: Doing business, Special occasions, Romantic, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Valdosta, Georgia, United States
Top Contributor
288 reviews 288 reviews
144 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 88 cities Reviews in 88 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Crowded, loud, and....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

....a fantastic Italian Restaurant. A noisy, happy place to eat! We made our first visit to the new Centre Street location to celebrate our anniversary. Compared to the former "bistro" location and smaller scale, the new location was a bit of a surprise. Whereas, the "bistro" location reminded us of a small cafe in Rome, Florence or Naples, the new location reminds me more of a New York City Italian restaurant. The good news, though, is that the food is still outstanding and the service is very good. We had reservations, but there was no indication that the reservation actually meant anything....however, we were seated within 15 minutes of our reservation time.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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594 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
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    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Weaverville, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Best Italian meal since I was in Italy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

While visiting Fernandina Beach this past week I have been eating a LOT of great seafood, but decided I needed a change tonight. We just happened to be down the street from Ciao Bistro and decided to walk in and give it a try. It was pretty early (5:15pm) so we didn't have to wait for a table, but within 15 minutes the restaurant was bustling and people were having to wait. The ambiance is classic Tuscan, the service was outstanding, and the food was absolutely amazing! I have nothing bad to say at all about this restaurant. The last time I had an Italian meal this good (and I've had a lot of Italian food!) was on a trip to Tuscany 5 years ago...no exaggeration.

  • Visited December 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“I could'nt rate the food because we were passed over repetedly and never got to eat.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Just another "Johnny Come Lately" that will take even more of the charm out of the historical district by being worried about the masses instead of taking care of the people that live locally and support them. Gave our name at the front, ordered a drink, and watched three other tables be seated and never were even spoken to. Good luck because evidently others had greener money and would be gone quicker.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
D.C.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Perfect family dinner for Christmas Eve”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

We relied on Trip Advisor reviews and were not disappointed. Excellent service, great food! Good for vegetarians with lots of salad and pasta options. Family-friendly. Slightly formal and more expensive than some other options, but well worth it for our special occasion. Huge portions left us too full for dessert. Homemade pasta was superb. Pesto cream sauce, amazing. The thinnest crust pizza ever and excellent!!

Visited December 2012
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Superb and some very creative upscale Italian creations.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

The REAL test for a good (Italian) restaurant is the CROWD willing to wait to be seated because the restaurant is so popular that there are no empty tables to "just walk in and be seated" at 7PM on a Sunday night! Welcome to Ciao Bistro! I'm not sure WHY Pompeo's failed to prosper in this prime location, but Ciao Bistro has relocated to this site and has kept it Italian... fine Italian! In our party of four, two had chicken parmesan, one had the eggplant parmesan... deemed very tasty. I decided to have the "chicken ciao" which was an excellent red wine reduction with sausage, onion, mushrooms & succulent tender chicken breast! The side I chose was a delightful eggplant saute that was a daily special. Good choices... I'll be going back next visit to Amelia Island for the "chicken ciao" no doubt!
According to our carriage guide, Luigi's had closed & when Pompeo's folded, that left the downtown historic area without an Italian fare offering... except that Ciao Bistro relocated downtown after a few years in a different Fernandina Beach location. It might also be noted that Ciao Bistro is owned by a chef who decided to open HIS OWN PLACE after being chef at the Ritz-Carleton resort in Fernandina Beach! No surprise that a former Ritz-Carleton chef runs a fine dining restaurant!

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

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