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“Outrageous food, great service” 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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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout, Late Night, Dessert
Fernandina
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Outrageous food, great service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

We had been to Ciaos many times at their old location and always enjoyed the atmosphere and food. Although the restaurant was crowded, the service was wonderful and the food was delicious. The shrimp scampi was distinctive and wonderful. Some of the others ordered the specials. Everyone was extremely happy with their choices. The service was excellent!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
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569 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
Madison, Georgia
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Another chance coming.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013 via mobile

Our experience wasn't great but good enough to give this restaurant another chance. It was very noisy as there was not an empty table, but we actually had a hard time hearing each other. Our server was nice but acted somewhat overwhelmed with the full house.

The antipasto plate was delicious with a wonderful selection of meats, cheeses, peppers and olives. The plate was advertised for two, but was more than enough for the three is us to share.

Our entrées were good, not great. One was the evening special - a shrimp salad with pesto dressing and fresh sliced avocado. The greens were fresh and crisp, the grilled shrimp flavorful and dressing light and tasty but the avocado slices were underripe, hard and tasteless. If the server had come back to check on us, we would have pointed this out but by the time she returned to our table, the other entrées were finished.

I was surprised to find out that only one pasta dish has 'house made' pasta - the pappardelle pasta with seafood but it was ordered and was an excellent dish.

The veal piccata was our 3rd entrée and was tender and flavorful served with steamed vegetables that were seasoned perfectly.

We didn't order desert as we were quite frustrated with our server by this point.

Again, these are problems that can be corrected and we will certainly give Ciao a chance to do so.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 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.
annapolis
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“great new place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Ciao is a new addition to the main st. of ferny beach..the covered porch and just enough lighting for outdoor eating was intriguing enough to lure us in..(the restaurant that used to be there seemed dark and uninviting). we were not very hungry, so an appetizer, and creative super-thin-crusted pizza was just enough...nice selection, doesn't try to offer every type of italian dish like some restauarants that 'over-menu'...wait staff was knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, didn't hover......will definitely return...oh, and there was nice, soft, unobtrusive music (not live) that was most pleasant for a background....nice experience overall!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“We were underwhelmed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

The menu looks great; many people recommended it. But our party of 6 will not be going back...ever.
1st- reservations at 8:30. Seated at 9:30. And no updates unless we asked
2nd- the sauce on the eggplant arm tasted like it came out of a jar.. The eggplant was cooked perfectly, but the sauce is soo important. The pasta sauce tasted like it was the same sauce.
3rd- the chicken Marsala was not good. Again, the sauce is everything.
4th- the salad was bitter

We went to have a good. It takes a lot to disappoint our group. We were disappointed. Perhaps the chef had an off night. The atmosphere is lively. The waiter was good. Unfortunately, the food should be the star.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 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.
Top Contributor
216 reviews 216 reviews
144 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
“Great Food, Cute, Quaint, Nice People, will return again”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

We went on Concours weekend, Saturday night and it was packed, with lines waiting out the door. The wait was an hour. We found a table on the front porch that had a heater facing the table. The restaurant was so crowded that this was actually the best possible place to sit.

It is unfortunate that the restaurant is so popular and so many people flock to it, especially during concours weekend. However, it is worth the wait.

Duarte was our server and he was friendly and respectful of our time. He knew we were there on business and had some things to discuss during the meal.

We started with drinks and they brought this amazing fresh bread with a pesto olive oil. We were hungry and these did not last long.

Most of us ordered the Ceasar salas or Caprese. Both were excellent. The Ceasar came with anchovies, croutons and sun dried tomatoes. Nice pungent Parmesan slices on top.

I ate my Italian restaurant standard, Chicken Marsala. It was very nice. The Chicken Marsala came with pasta, mushrooms and a flavorful Marsala sauce. I would order this again. But then again, I love Chicken Marsala.

Others at the table Eggplant Parmesan which was reported excellent and most at the table ate the Mahi Seafood special that included Mussels, Scallops, Shrimp, Calamari etc. in broth over spaghetti. Again the report was that it was very good.

No dessert, yes they were a little overwhelmed, however when you have as many people waiting to get in as are seated, and this goes on all afternoon starting early, the experience will not be the same.

The only thing that was not liked was the sangria.

It's a small restaurant, with nice people and good food. We will return again...for sure.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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