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“Lovely place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ciao Bistro

Ciao Bistro
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Large groups, Families with children
Dining options: Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Southbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Lovely place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

First time eating at Ciao since Luca moved restaurant to the downtown Fernandjna area. Still great food and great atmosphere. And it still feels like a small family restaurant. Well done!

    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank RAF3546
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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827 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
33 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“No Vampires”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

really good food, full of garlic and exactly as ordered, service was attentive but not overbearing, we will be back

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Vicki-lynne G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
39 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“What has happened?”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

This was my second visit to Ciao, my first was at the previous location and it was wonderful. This how ever was far from it. When my friend and I arrived it was 6:30 and we were sat right away. It took a few minutes for our overly energetic waitress to find her way to us. She got us water and didn't even ask if we wanted anything from the bar just jumped straight into what we wanted to order. After getting our wine and ordering our food came out fast, to fast. We had no time to socialize. I order some sort of pasta with clams which was terrible it tasted like the noodles had been sitting there ready to order, the sauce tasted like bland melted butter, my clams were flavorless and had a gritty taste to them. My friend said her food was just ok. The waitress came over and say the bill on our table without even asking if we were interested in desert. We just paid the bill. I felt as if I was in a cattle farm being herded and rushed. It wasn't a nice sit down dinner it was a rushed dinner to get onto the next table. Ciao has lost what was special. It's all about flipping the tables now. We went over to fantastic fudge and got dessert which I can promise you was better thank anything ciao would have provided.

    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank cmk2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amelia Island, Florida
Level Contributor
26 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Quality Maintained After Move Downtown”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Ciao Bistro has always been our local favorite for quality Italian food, despite being located in a strip mall off Amelia Island. Owner Luca welcomes you, serves home-style Italian food, and is always willing to meet a guest's request. I special ordered PENNE ALL’ ARRABIATA one night, which was excellent, and to my pleasant surprise found it permanently on the menu the next month. Note to Luca: Please bring back.

Ciao moved to downtown Fernandina Beach last fall and the good news is that the food is as good as ever, even with a revised menu, and the wine list is even better than before with more interesting choices at value prices. My only complaint on wine is that the wine-by-the-glass is rather prosaic and wish a few of the interesting choices on the wine list were also available in single servings.

However, success does have a potential downside. The new Ciao BIstro is roughly twice as large as its predecessor and to no one's surprise based on its deserved reputation, the place is always packed starting at 6pm. This means that the Luca's personal touch is diminished and he's more traffic cop than a host. In addition, there are teething problems with the new restaurant's service as shown by too many different bodies rushing past and/or brushing your table which detracts from the experience. I trust these will be resolved.

Another area for improvement is soundproofing as the hard walls and ceiling make the room quite loud, albeit not difficult to hold a conversation. Coupled with the service issue above, I must say the atmosphere from the previous site has dropped a notch.

My overall rating is only 4 at this point, but the food and wine are definitely rated 5. Enjoy!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Eastwind99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
60 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Luca has moved!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013 via mobile

One of our favorite restaurants in Fernendina Beach moved from the strip mall location to the swank of downtown. The great food moved with it! With a much larger dining area, Luca has a lot to do to keep up with his patrons and it may be a bit overwhelming for him. We missed his personal visit to our table, but our very interesting waiter added that personal touch that Ciao is famous for. Older the "special" for a treat or lasagna as a standby. Dessert is a must (see picture) but we miss the free glass of lemoncello. The value is wonderful.

    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TBBXRR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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