To start I had the Greek Village Salad, a colorful array of cucumbers, kalamata olives, red onions, diced tomatoes, and feta cheese tossed with oregano and oil and vinegar. As you know I am a recent cucumber convert and I am so glad that I am because the cucumbers were absolutely necessary to overall taste. This salad was crisp, fresh, and flavorful.
Next I sampled the oysters and the Mussels Saganaki (this item I absolutely had to try!). The oysters had a slightly smoky flavor which I liked and I’m not even a big fan of oysters. The mussels were perfectly prepared. The broth got a kick from red peppers, and the feta made this great dish amazing. I do love mussels, and I always crave a red sauce. So as you can imagine I absolutely loved this appetizer. Even as I was enjoying the mussels I was already looking forward to my next dinner at Ciao Bella so I could have them again. Yes! That’s how delicious they were. Ciao Bella also serves mussels in the traditional white wine sauce as well as marinara. I’m sure you can’t go wrong with those either.
For entrees I began with the fish of the day – trout with red pepper risotto – and spanakopita. The trout was tender and lightly yet nicely seasoned. The spanakopita was unbelievable! Neither the spinach nor the feta was overwhelming rather they were exactly balanced. I could definitely come back and just have the spanakopita and be satisfied.
I then tried the rigatoni with portabello mushrooms and pesto topped with slivered toasted almonds. This dish was a mix of tastes and textures, and I loved how they all complemented each other. The slightly sweet undertones of the pesto balanced the earthiness of the portabellos. The toasted almonds added a welcomed crispness to the dish.
To round out the entrees I had the crab and crawfish cakes, a hearty mix of crab meat and crawfish with only enough veggies to give flavor. You have to appreciate when the item that arrives is exactly what the name implies.
Finally dessert - tiramisu and marscapone gelato. I’ve never really liked tiramisu. I think it’s because of the texture. Who knows? But I do know Ciao Bella’s tiramisu is a wonderful mix of cocoa and coffee. As for the gelato, it was surprisingly subtle. It was not too sweet or rich but rather satisfyingly sweet. It was so light that I didn’t even feel guilty about indulging in it.
Ciao Bella has so many amazing dishes making it difficult to narrow down your choices. But rest assured that whatever you decide whether it’s one of the tasty items I tried or one of their pastas, pizzas, or other dishes it will be beyond delicious. Make plans to have dinner one night this week at Ciao Bella.
Greek Village Salad $7.5
Mussels Saganaki $12