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“A Nice Surprise! Awesome Italian food and kid-friendly” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ciao Mambo

Ciao Mambo
541 S Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59801-2735
406-543-0377
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Ranked #36 of 241 Restaurants in Missoula
Price range: $20 - $25
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: The lights are low, the music is turned up, wine is flowing, and the energy is buzzing in the air. It’s a perfect evening and the perfect setting for…Italian food at MAMBO’S. With creative twists on classic recipes there is something for everyone in the family. It’s Italian Nachos, Minestrone, Lasagne, Tiramisu, Chianti, Frank Sinatra, Great Fun, Wonderful Service and a whole lot more… Ciao Mambo atmosphere works just as well for romantic couples as it does for a cozy table of family, friends and children too.At Mambo’s, we serve up immigrant style Southern Italian cuisine in a happening family ambiance. Our pasta dishes with rich, savory sauces and fresh ingredients, thin crust pizzas baked to perfection, and unmatchable service will keep you coming back for more. If the atmosphere and friendly service don't seduce you, the pasta will. Bring your friends, family and appetite for fun, and we'll handle the rest. Come on in, your table is waiting!
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“A Nice Surprise! Awesome Italian food and kid-friendly”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

We were in Missoula one night on our way from Waterton Parks to Yellowstone. We were staying in downtown Missoula, exhausted and needed a good not-overly-expensive meal that didn't include macaroni and cheese, hamburgers or elk chili (not that there's anything wrong with elk chili, but at this point I was seriously considering going back to being a vegetarian for a while. We found Ciao Mambo listed in a book about Montana and thought we'd try it. We were not disappointed! Montana has some great restaurants, and I have to say this is one of the best ones we ate at on our trip. They had a really good spaghetti bolognese (different than what I was used to back in Chicago-but really tasty and you could tell the ingredients were fresh). The kids split a pizza (which is always "iffy", again, being from Chicago), and it was really good-they ate the whole thing. The pinot noir was excellent, and the portions were so big my husband and I were able to split the pasta and a salad and had more than enough to eat. Oh, and fabulous garlic "toast" was provided before the meal. Excellent.

The best part? They gave the kids pizza dough to play with while we waited for our food. Yes they are older (they're both nine) but it is still rare that my husband and I can actually have a conversation where one of them isn't interrupting, asking "how come?" and always putting their two cents in. Love them to death but after two weeks driving across the country, it gets to you. But once they got their pizza dough, they were so busy making artistic sculptures that we were able to actually talk while sipping our wine. Uninterrupted. The people at Ciao Mamo are brilliant. (And, if they got sick of the pizza dough, they could color/draw on their kids menus or the paper table cloth. The restaurant then will tape their creation to the ceiling, so half of their ceiling is covered with kids' drawings.) Brilliant.

They were really busy (even on a Monday night), but we were seated right away. Service was quick, the server was really nice and efficient, our food was hot and delicious, and we have absolutely no complaints. I liked the decor-it was Montana with a "collegiate" vibe (University of Montana is in Missoula, and all the servers looked like college girls (either that or women in Montana just age really well), so maybe that had something to do with it.) Totally recommend this restaurant-would definitely eat here again if we're back in Missoula!

  • Visited August 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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110 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    49
    36
    10
    9
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Missoula, Montana
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Three times is the charm”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

I don't know what Ciao Mambo is. I don't know what the food they serve is. I am just confused. The first trip I ordered a dish made with a standard red sauce. The waitress ask me is I wanted it hot, mild, or spicy. I repeated my order, then she repeated her question. I ask her if anyone in the restaurant was Italian. She said she thought one of the waitress's may be Italian. I gave up received my food and decided not to go back. I did go back thinking it was just the waitress, I was wrong the food was really non-descript, bad, and just awful. I was talked into going back for the third time by some friends, who said I was over reacting. They found out I was right. Third time is the charm.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great food.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

We were at a grooms dinner and I didn't hear anything but compliments on the food. It was all great. They did screw up the number of place settings so I was without a setting for about 5 minutes or more before they gave up trying to figure it out and finally got me a plate and silverware. Other than that we loved it.

Visited August 2012
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Olympia
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
86 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Ciao Eccellente”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012 via mobile

I dropped into this restaurant during a very busy Sunday early evening. (They were holding a concert in the adjacent park). I was solo and asked the hostess for a table. She easily complied in a gracious manner.

My water glass was filled as I sat down. And the waitress instantly appeared. I asked her which was their signature dish. She pointed out the Pasta Ravenna, which I ordered with a dinner salad.

WOW! The pasta was served in a cavernous bowl. It had plenty of chicken, sun dried tomatoes, and luscious artichoke hearts to accompany the bow tie pasta, mushrooms and a delicious sauce. Baby, Oh Baby!

    • 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.
new hampshire
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“great food!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

Our first night in Missoula and how fortunate to have found this place. Great atmosphere. Busy on a Friday night but were seated within 10 minutes at around 6/6:30. The egg drop soup with tortellini, 4-cheese ravioli, the pasta with chicken tossed in a rose sauce, the spinach salad were all fantastic. The warm bread served before the meal was yummy. Highly recommend Ciao Mambo for great Italian.

  • Visited July 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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