Ciao Ristorante Italiano πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ† Vista, CA

Ciao Ristorante Italiano

An Italian restaurant that has become ‘the place to go to’ over the years. Having taken hints from my Daughter-In-law about what makes Ciao so special, it took a meal or two to completely figure out just what she was talking about. Ciao seems to deliver and . . . their catering delivers.

We’ve had Ciao provide catering for a party at our house and they brought their best to the game. I think it’s their house-made bread that was the game winner. I believe it’s the same dough used for their pizza. Makes sense. When eating at the restaurant, the bread is still a highlight.

We have eaten here now several times, and over the past couple of years they have expanded to add another ‘a bit upper scale’ dining area to their pre-existing Italian restaurant. Ciao has been located on the same property for as long as I can remember, some 15+ years. A family owned operation where you can still find the owner watching the operations from the front of the house, greeting and talking with his customers as they arrive and depart.

With the changes over the years they have added a new cocktail bar, pastry and coffee bar, homemade gelato bar, delicatessen and another restaurant. We have come to realize that the menus are different in both separate dining areas and from different kitchens including a wood-fired pizza oven that can be seen from the bar area of the new Enoteca section. The Enoteca is a nice area to sit, talk and watch the wood-fired pizzas being made. The Enoteca is designed more to enhance the sharing aspect of Italian dining, where conversation and salutations are embraced. It seems that we enjoy the bar area in the Enoteca more so than the tradition dining area; yet we have occasionally brought home a pizza or two from the regular restaurant.

Another thing we have realized is with the different kitchens, comes different sauces. We have ordered three or four different red-sauce entrees from the Enoteca and received three different red sauces, including another sauce that was used on the pizza. You can order Italian style meals from the restaurant while sitting in the Enoteca, but you can not order from the Enoteca while dining in the traditional dining area. Something like that.

The Enoteca is freshly designed with hints of fine dining. You’ll also notice folks seem to dress up just a bit more when eating in the new section. Ciao also has areas designed for catering larger parties. There is a patio area above the entrance that would make a nice office party and a larger banquet area for larger family celebrations. Ciao’s parking is a bit clumsy, if I may call it that. The expansion has taken most of the front area parking, yet opened up plenty of spaces in the rear near the wood pile for the pizza oven.

When I eat at Ciao I expect them to live up to a standard, and they do. The staff (many family) always seems to provide the warmth of a familia from the motherland. There is plenty to explore on the menus and the restaurant facility itself. It gets very busy seemingly every night of the week, so be prepared; although, with the amount of staff they have, there has never seemed to be much of a wait, if any.

Give Ciao a try. Break away from the ordinary old Italian restaurant. This food is interesting and well executed. How many Italian restaurants have three or four different red sauces coming from two different kitchens?

Dicks

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