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“Great Food, Cute, Quaint, Nice People, will return again” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ciao Bistro

Ciao Bistro
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Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Kids, Business meetings, Families with children, Large groups, Romantic
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
Level Contributor
399 reviews
263 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“Great Food, Cute, Quaint, Nice People, will return again”
4 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Clinton S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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906 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    554
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Tallahassee, Florida
Level Contributor
49 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Not so good experience at Ciao's”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

It was Thursday night and Concours d' Elegance had just commenced so it was Very crowded and NOISEY -- and no sound absorption in the expansive, lovely dining room. So my husband and I had a hard time hearing each other. The servers were overwhelmed with a sea of diners but doing well to keep up. However, when my chicken pasta dish arrived there was No chicken in it. As the server placed the plate in front of me I said, "Oh, (I pointed), there's no chicken." She answers, "What?" I go up a notch, "There's NO Chicken." She replies, "So what do you want me to do, ma'am?" I respond, "I'd like the chicken!" She answers, "What?" It was awful -- all because we could not communicate and she was frazzled with so many of us to serve. Finally she leaned down and asked again, "So what do you want, ma'am?" Now she's clearly irritated. (It was so exasperating.) I say, "I want the chicken." She replies, "Do you want me to go to the kitchen and get some chicken?" In all of the commotion of crowded people talking notches higher to be heard and plate & silver noise, she still couldn't hear me(?) say that the dish was Supposed to have chicken. I admit I became perturbed but my server was acting as if I was asking for something extra to what I'd ordered and she came across as very annoyed about it. It went on some more and I had her lean down, "Please, I just want what I ordered, the CHICKEN pasta dish" and off she huffed and it came back with some cubed chicken pieces stirred into pasta -- at that point my husband was almost finished with his delectable dish. My point here is our dinner was ruined by an exchange caused by the lack of sound absorption that I hope is corrected -- and a server who was overwhelmed but should have been more professional instead of showing extreme irritation about the situation in a restaurant of this caliber. I heard her clearly when we leaned in to speak so I can't help but think she heard me as well -- she chose to make me the "problem" not the kitchen and also draw attention to me by other diners as she raised her voice with those, "SO WHAT DO YOU WANT MA'AM's? over and over like I'm being terribly Difficult) -- we won't be back and we come every year and often dine in groups but not going to Ciao's.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
4 Thank McHopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
214 reviews
151 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Good Italian Food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2013

The pasta and salmon here are very good. The service is ok but not very speedy. Trying to pay our bar bill was a real pain. We will go back our next visit to Amelia Island.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Alan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
117 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“#1 Italian on Amelia Island”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

Luca's move from off-island to downtown Centre St has paid off. Not a complaint among 11 diners in a pre-theatre group. Paperdelle with shrimp and scallops done to perfection. Kitchen and wait staff were able to handle the 11 orders timely. When the owner greets all comers and is ever-present in the dining room, he provides confidence that all will go well. Back room is a bit noisy (needs some sound-absorbing decor) so get a table toward the front. A split of Rocca della Mazie chianti classico is best wine deal.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Robert W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darien, Connecticut
Level Contributor
111 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“A Wonderful Experience! Fun, good food and Luca's the best!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2013

I went here 2 nights of my 4 night stay on AI visiting my family. Luca alone is worth the visit! He's a warm, affable engaging person and he knows how to please his customers! I loved it! The food is very good, reasonably priced and enough to take some home.
It's nice to sit outside if you can! Luca, please come and open Ciao 2 in Darien, CT!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Tobyco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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