Ciao Osteria - A Fine Downtown Apex Restaurant
BOTTOM LINE AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE: Yes, we'll go back!!
My wife and I went to Ciao Osteria, the 4th restaurant to grace the downtown slot at 121 North Salem Street. We arrived Friday evening around 6:30 to a mostly empty lower level. I think a fairly large private party had recently arrived and was seated upstairs, but I didn't come to this conclusion until a bit later.
We were seated near the front window, our our server promptly took our drink and appetizer order, and brought out some tasty bread for us to munch on while we waited. Our appetizer came out relatively quickly - we ordered a palte of Zucchini Fritti. Though it was only my wife and myself this time, the appetizer was definately suitable for 4 people, and well priced. The bread was also quite tasty.
The lower level started to fill up, and I noticed the others who arrived at the same time as us were also waiting for their food. The waitress apologized for the wait (we did not complain), as it turned out the large party upstairs had put their order in a few minutes before us. I didn't mind.
When the food did finally come out, it was excellent. I ordered the crab cakes, which came with a piece of asparagus and was covered in two kinds of creme sauce and a black bean puree. The crab cakes were very good. Not quite up to The Channel Marker standards, but very good. Adrienne ordered a seafood special, which consisted of perch and jumbo shrimp over a bed of risotto (I think). The dish was also supposed to include clams and mussels, which Adrienne forgot about until near the end of the meal. She asked the waitress, who double checked with the Chef, who had apparently forgotten to put those items on the dish. The waitress was very apologetic, and the manager comped the dish for us.
We got desert for carryout - the Macademia White Chocolate ice cream and a slice of Belgian Dark Chocolate cheesecake.
Overall, the food was excellent, and I was very happy with the service our waitress provided. We will absolutely return to Ciao Osteria