We've been wanting to try Ciao Baby for quite a long time. We had reservations for Christmas Eve but had to cancel due to illness, so we finally got out there in February for lunch. We ordered the Eggplant Rollatini appetizer and a small house salad, and the gemelli with sausage sauce. I was debating whether the appetizer and salad would be enough and whether to add chicken or steak to my salad, but thankfully, I opted not to. The salad was beautiful - mixed field greens dressed with just a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, a tiny bit salty but crisp and delicious. Huge - couldn't believe it was the "small" salad.
We looked on in disbelief as the appetizer and the entree came out - both appeared on enormous plates, and the rollatini was accompanied by a very large portion of rigatoni anfd tomato sauce. Our server, Amanda, brought us sharing plates and we each had some of the other's plate (unfortunately, these two dishes don't really complement each other). Each was outstanding on its own, and the gemelli, in particular was done in a way we were not familiar with (read the menu for a detailed description).
Against our better judgment, we ordered a "half" Rainbow cookie and shared it. It was enormous and delicious with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. It actually did resemble one of those Italian rainbow cookies you can get in a bakery, and tasted just like it, but was moist because it was sponge cake and raspberry preserves. It was huge. Plain coffee was nothing special - a little weaker than I thought it would be, given that it's an Italian restaurant.
Service was pleasant and helpful, but ambling and a bit slow. The weekday lunch special, I would imagine, attracts more business customers and might be faster. I certainly believe that if you go during lunch and you tell them upfront that you have to be out of the restaurant by such-and-such a time, they will definitely accommodate you. It could just be that I'm so accustomed to eating in restaurants where quick service and turnaround is more important that I had a little trouble adjusting to the more relaxed pace of Ciao Baby.
Big servings aren't enough to make this place great. The food has to be great, too, and it was.
Tip: when traveling eastward on Sunrise Highway, there is enough space on the street to park about 6 cars right in front of the restaurant, but if you want to park in the parking lot, you have to turn southward (a right turn from the eastbound land) on the street BEFORE (I think it was called Block St). The host/ess station is closer to the entrance from the parking lot.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.