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“Adele Derosa Ciao, Master Chef from Italy amazes”
Review of ciao's - CLOSED

ciao's
Price range: $20 - $48
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: The premier Italian Restaurant and Lounge in Indiana, offering unique and authentic Italian cuisine, enjoyable drinks and amazing dessert!
Reviewed August 23, 2013

When we have traveled to italy, I like to play a game with myself. I pit the dishes I order in fine restaurants there against Adele Ciao's versions. Adele always comes out on top. Many chefs have the same Master Chef training, but lack the creativity found at Ciao's. This is no spaghetti and meatballs joint. This is fine cuisine. Many "Italian" dishes Americans enjoy are simply made wrong. They have been homogenized, overseasoned, and buried in cheese until they are unrecognizable as the real dish. So, it is no surprise that some diners do not "get" Ciao's. They are looking for the 30 minute meals version of Italian cuisine which thrives in every city. Angelo handles the wine selections and can always find the perfect wine to compliment our food. There are nice wines in every price range.
The restaurant's owners, Adele and Angelo (she's the boss) have been in the business for a long time and are getting it right.

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1  Thank Lora R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (41)
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16 - 20 of 41 reviews

Reviewed August 17, 2013

While staying in South Bend, Indiana in the downtown area (at the DoubleTree Hotel) we were pleasantly surprised at several restaurants within walking distance that were supposedly quite good, based upon the hotel's employees' suggestions.
One evening we arrived at the "Ciao and Lounge" at about 9:00 p.m.
A sign on the door said that the restaurant would be open until 10:00 p.m.
There were other persons dining; we asked at the front desk if the restaurant was still serving. We were told "yes" and escorted to our table.
The table was unstable- something that one should not encounter in a fine dining establishment.
Originally, the first impression was quite good. Comfortable ambiance abounded. There was a piano player at the bar (on the other side of the restaurant) who was tinkling a few tunes. Soft music was playing in the dining area where we were seated. The piano player had finished his shift, and the music was quite nice, typically Italian, but of a relaxing type and softly playing.
We ordered from the menu. The wine list was indeed extensive, and extremely pricey ($95.00 bottles of wine abounded- we chose a single glass of Chianti.)
This traveler's wife ordered the spaghetti alla puttanesca (a dish this traveler's wife actually makes at home, and makes well.)
This traveler ordered the chicken marsala.
The service was adequate.
The food? Marginal. If that. Total bill? $59.06 with a 20% tip (this traveler always tries to tip the servers well, as they are busting their butts [usually] to make a living.)
The puttanesca was quite disappointing; the chicken marsala? Pretty much awful. Pound a chicken breast flat, placing some sauteed mushrooms on top, and pouring marsala wine is not how this dish should be prepared.
Just because one works in an "Italian restaurant" does not mean that one knows how to cook in the Italian style.

Then, the experience got strange.
We were not dawdling while eating, and the time was still before the posted closing time.
All of a sudden (during the salad/soup course) the overhead Italian music got so loud that normal conversation was impossible.
This traveler asked the server about the sudden increase in the volume, and the server pointed to a man about 3 tables away and said: "The owner raised the volume."

She offered to have it changed, and this traveler said: "Well, it's his restaurant; he can do as he pleases."

Then, after about 15 minutes of the increased volume, the level of the music did lower. As a matter of fact, it lowered so much that we could hear the owner DRUMMING HIS KNUCKLES ON HIS TABLE.

He continued for a significant period of time, never stopping, and (obviously) making sure that this offensive noise was heard by this traveler's wife and this traveler.

Colleagues and fellow travelers, there is no reason to subject paying customers- who are not "difficult" patrons- paying customers who offered the courtesy of asking if the restaurant was still serving, who arrived well before closing time- to this level of irritation.

So, based upon the cuisine and the disrespectful treatment AT THE DIRECT AND PERSONAL HANDS OF THE OWNER OF Ciao and Lounge in South Bend, Indiana...


Don't go.

We won't be back,
Ever.

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3  Thank Thomas S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Imaginative recipes and excellent ingredients. The chef sometimes stops by. The desserts and cookies are European quality and style. I was surprised such a restaurant exists in a small town like South Bend. South Bend has proven a surprising city.

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Thank Musicandartstraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

My husband and I had the best dinner experience recently at Ciao's Lounge.
Our meals were absolutely delicious. The wait staff was knowledgeable and friendly. And the atmosphere was excellent - complete with a piano player. I highly recommend!

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Thank Diane C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2013 via mobile

We came in to town just for a couple days and checked this place out based on the recommendations from Tripvisor. I have to say this place is simply amazing and worth every single penny.

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Thank RjBass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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