Ciao! Italian the Way It Should Be Done

By Dylan Bailey

In the vibrant heart of Fernandina Beach, Florida, there’s a little gem known as Ciao Italian Eatery. Nestled on Centre Street, this restaurant is a beacon of deliciousness that promises a delightful dining experience. Spoiler alert: it delivers.

As soon as I set foot inside, I was greeted by a surprisingly spacious interior. Ciao might seem like a quaint little spot from the outside, but the space unfolds like a magic trick once inside. Going further in, I was greeted by a warm and welcoming ambiance that set the stage for the upcoming dining experience.

Ciao stands out from the crowd because of its staff’s warmth, starting with the owner himself, Luca. I was welcomed like an old friend. The comfortable atmosphere immediately put me at ease and set a high bar for what was to come.

My journey at Ciao began with a selection of appetizers. I couldn’t help by eye the novel ‘mozzarella lollipop.’ This tasty starter, featuring giant chunks of mozzarella skewered with cherry tomatoes, came beautifully presented on a bed of fresh greens and topped off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. It’s a refreshing and light start, which prepped my palate for the main course.

I can’t tell you how excited I was to see the spaghetti and meatballs come to my table. This meal is a staple in any Italian eatery and is a standout dish at Ciao. Larger-than-life meatballs accompanied by perfectly cooked spaghetti, all topped off with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, had me in heaven.

The star of the show, though, is the tomato sauce. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill, overly tangy sauce; instead, it’s a velvety concoction that’s sweet, inviting and a perfect companion to the spaghetti and meatballs.

If you’re a pizza lover, Ciao won’t disappoint. I ordered one of their signature pizzas, the formaggio di capra, which is a culinary masterpiece. Topped with a generous helping of goat cheese, caramelized onions, tomato, arugula, and a drizzle of pesto, this pizza was a feast for the taste buds. The super-thin crust made the flavors pop with each bite.

If you fancy a drink to complement your meal, Ciao’s extensive wine list will leave you spoiled. With a dedicated menu featuring a wide variety of wines, this restaurant ensures a perfect pairing for every dish.

However, no Italian meal is complete without some sweet indulgence, and Ciao’s dessert menu doesn’t disappoint. The Limoncello cake, a light and airy lemon cake topped with a smooth, creamy custard-like topping and a drizzle of tart blueberry sauce, was a refreshing end to my meal.

Ciao Italian Eatery is more than just a restaurant – it’s a smorgasbord for your tastebuds. With its inviting atmosphere, friendly staff, and, most importantly, delicious food, it’s a place that left me wishing I could eat more. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, Ciao is a must-visit spot for all Italian food lovers. Try it once, and you’re sure to return for the spaghetti and meatballs!

Ciao Italian Eatery

Address: 614 Centre St., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

Phone: 904-206-4311


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8 months ago

Everything you said is on point; however, you missed one crucial offering.
Ciao has a complete and magnificent bar with mixologists who know how to make favorites like Negroni and Vespers or plain old bourbon or vodka rocks, and everything in between.
It’s our favorite place– to have a drink and an antipasto or a multi-course meal. The service rivals the best restaurants in NYC, with cloth napkins and changing silverware between courses. And with a modest price point, it doesn’t get any better.