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Review of Ciao Mambo

Ciao Mambo
Ranked #5 of 95 Restaurants in Whitefish
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
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!
Reviewed February 15, 2013

I have eaten here four time sand each time "ooohed and aahed" over how delicious the food was. (I don't do that often). The lasagne's a family favorite, but have tried several of the pasta dishes too and they are to die for! We also love the little pizza balls (forget their name) with the dips. Mmmmm.

It's a busy, noisy, congested little place, so visiting can be a challenge, however the fun atmosphere and "authentic Italian" feel is all part of the experience. Also expect to wait for a table; it's very popular and you can't make reservations for a small party, only larger groups.

I don't understand the person's negative review, and comment that there are "few good eating places in this area". Whitefish has some of the BEST eating places of anywhere I've been!

Will definitely keep coming back to Mambo's time and time again!

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Thank 474lovetoeat474
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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593 - 597 of 737 reviews

Reviewed February 11, 2013

This place is insanely crowded and noisy. We were in on a Sunday night when it was about 3/4s full and it was easier to hear what the guy at the table next to me was saying than my date. It is like they arranged as many regular tables as they could get to fit, and then grabbed a dozen two-person, bar height tables and squashed them in the nooks and crannies. They have tiny tables in between the ovens and the bathroom doors, not appetizing! Later that night my throat felt like I'd been in a bar all night for the yelling you have to do to be heard. There was about 8 minutes in the middle of our meal where the table next to us was laughing a lot and we resorted to drawing things on the table (they give you crayons and paper table clothes) for amusement rather than talking.

The food is alright, not great, not horrible. It is definitely Americanized Italian, super heavy on cheese to the detriment of more subtle seasoning. The bread is good, but it would be nicer if they gave you a dish of oil to dip it in, instead of drenching it before it gets to the table, your hands will end up covered in olive oil.

The prices are a little higher than you'd expect for what you get, but then again it's a mountain vacation town. For the price you'd at least expect some proper service, but because the tables are so close together there's no room for it. The servers can't fill a water glass or set down or remove a plate without getting in someone's way. You spend half your meal leaning forward or back so your server can do something for you. Going to the restroom was an obstacle course, and unlike in some cramped restaurants where all the tables are the same height, you can't even lean over, out of one table's way, because there will inevitable be a bar-height table behind you.

P.S. I'm in my late twenties and a size 2... and I found it awkward to get around, there is no way I would ever take my dad there, he would feel claustrophobic

Considering the negatives of the atmosphere, the food is not worth it.

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Thank MChenMT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2013

I was recently on a girl’s trip to Whitefish when we visited Ciao Mambo. We read great reviews on the restaurant and the condo we had rented (conveniently located down the street from Ciao Mambo) highly recommended the place.
I have to say, the food was excellent! However, I have never had such terrible service in any establishments in Whitefish as we had experienced this night. The restaurant was busy- we had a reservation and were seated promptly. Our server, Wandy approached us very quickly to ask if we wanted drinks. Because we had just sat down we asked for another minute to look at the menu. Fifteen minutes later she returned to take our drink order. We ordered food at the same time and waited about another 10 minutes for Wandy to return with our drinks.
When the food arrived everything was excellent and left no one disappointed! While we were about ¾ of the way through our meal Wandy came to our table (with a 2 year old in her arms) asking if we needed anything. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids and in fact 2 of the 6 girls in our group are expecting but we all found it quite unprofessional to be carrying out a job with someone else’s child in her arms.
When we finished our meal we again waited for at least 15 minutes before Wandy asked us if we wanted anything else and brought the bill. We asked if she could split the bill so she left and quickly and came back with the split bill AND an 18% service charge for splitting the bill?!?! Excuse me Wandy but should you not tell your customers you are adding such a charge?!? If her service had been even just mediocre that evening we would have had no issue with the charge but considering we felt basically ignored all night the 18% service charge was NOT acceptable. We did not want to complain so commented to ourselves what a ridiculous charge it was and paid anyway.
The bill was split 4 ways- 3 were paid for on credit card and my friend paid for myself and her with cash. I handed her the cash and she handed it to Wandy as she was in the middle of doing a credit card transaction. When we were about to leave Wandy said she was short 20$. We said- no you shouldn’t be we handed you a 20$ bill to which Wandy replied “I have no record of any cash.” How would you have a “record” of cash? We knew we had paid her and were very confused and embarrassed that she was accusing us of not paying! She appeared flustered and unorganized all evening so it was really no surprise that she had misplaced the 20$. In the end her tone had changed and she loudly explained to our table “FINE! Ill take the money out of my OWN tips!” We all left and felt very awkward about the whole situation, and to be honest I think it put a downer on our entire evening. I am upset that I did not talk to a manager that evening about our experience.
Whitefish is an amazing place with so much to offer! We visit at least a dozen times per year (summer and winter) but will definitely not be returning to Ciao Mambo!

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1  Thank CalGrn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

The food is amazing! The service was excellent and the prices were average, around my budget. I'd recommend this restaurant to everyone! Great first experience, thank you!

Thank djavuuhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

Very good food. Pretty consistant and very popular. If there is one thing I don't like about it, it's the fact is a small building and people are cramped in there pretty tight.

Thank FXDL07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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