Ciao Bella offers 4 course dinners for $25, 7 days a week. Over a 120 pasta combinations.
live and eat in the West End but had never tried Ciao Bella. I don't know why because I love Italian food, just never made it past Robson street. Living at the other end of Denman it is more convenient to walk to places around my corner.
Having said that, I took the trip down the strip and had an extremely pleasant dining experience one evening this past month and decided to go a second time. The second time we did not make reservations and being Saturday night, the place was packed. The smell of the food was wonderful, the piano music was great, the service was excellent, however, the patio was the only available table and it was too tightly packed. We literally shared the oil & vinegar and salt and pepper with the next table.
Having said that though, we still had great food and fast service. The prices are very good, compared to other popular places, and the portions are large. A half order proved to be more than adequate, along with the dipping bread and salad.
The manager also made me my favourite desert. Zablioni, ( not sure of the spelling) which was not on the menu. It was the best I have had.
Make reservations, don’t expect Sardi’s, it’s a family run, local eatery… check your attitude at the door.
I've walked past this restaurant many times without being enticed inside. Last night we ducked in out of the rain after reading what seemed to be like a good menu. Now I know why I never went in before; I should have trusted my intuition.
The service was slow and when our food arrived, they had gotten the order wrong. I was so sure that because the food had taken such a long time to arrive, it would take forever to get the right dish. That wasn't the case which makes one wonder why it took so long in the first place.
For $5.95 you can get 4 melba toast sized slices of garlic toast. If I were the waitress, I would have been embarrassed to serve it. She should have steered us clear and suggested a better appetizer. The pasta is standard and probably only worth the 50% off Tuesday special.
If you are around there and want some pasta, you'd be much better off crossing the street to Yoshoku-Ya for some homey Japanese spaghetti.
Definitely not recommended.
I had been meaning to go to this restaurant for a long time, and the atmosphere always looks great from outside, as a previous reviewer said: cosy, warm, authentically Italian.
We waited 20 minutes to get a menu, then another 15 to order, and so on and so on to get starters and entrees on the table. There weren't nearly enough servers to cope with the number of people in the restaurant, let alone the queue outside.
Food was good all round (chicken, veal, risotto, mussels), but 'good' in the sense of a small Italian bistro or a new restaurant with very simple dishes, or comfort food. For twenty dollar entrees, this food didn't match up to our expectations. It felt a bit inexperienced all round.
Had there been better food or better service, we'd have been happy.
I wanted to like Ciao Bella. I have two friends who love it and show up every weekend for the $25 dinner and a bottle of wine and I really wanted to join in. Bad idea. I guess, since I don't drink, I'm more apt to notice how mediocre the food is, how snotty the service can be, and, if you stray from the narrow $25 menu, how overpriced and such a poor value the whole experience can be.
I had an appy, small pasta, entree and mineral water, and I spend $60.
I think I'll pass. I'd rather spend a little more and have a meal I enjoy, or a lot less and have some good italian comfort food.
I found this restaurant last summer. Every time I walked by there was a line up, I just had to try it and I am glad that I did it. Since than I eat there 2-3 times a week. Couple more vist and I will have tried everything on the menu. Mario and Tony are the perfect hosts. They always make feel right at home.This is a place where I can go regularly, eat well and don't have to take out a mortgage to do it. I love the piano music in the evening. Tony even has a portait on the wall made by a local artist, it is really one of a kind. It seems like everyone knows everyone there. That's a real neighbourhood restaurant. I can't wait for the warmer days to sit on the patio again, I love to watch the world go by. I would recomend Ciao Bella to anyone in a hart beat. Thank you guys and see you in a couple of days.
I have never been so disappointed in a restaurant. I went on a Monday with 10 friends. It happened to be 50% off on that night. I ordered the 4 course meal for $30. It was a good way to check out the quality of the menu and seemed like a good deal,
First course was shrimp cocktail. tough and rubbery. Next I had what was supposed to be lobster and crab bisque. It tasted like canned tomato soup with some crab thrown in for texture. There was not a hint of lobster flavor and it was not a bisque. Entree was Veal steak with pasta. There was absolutely no flavoring on the meat, it was simply grilled and put next to cooked penne with a thin sauce on it. I have had better pasta sauce in a jar! Lastly, I had the Tiramisu for dessert. Once again it lacked flavor and after such a dissapointing meal I never finished the dessert. I also never finished the entree.
As there were 10 of us who went to this restaurant we called and specifically asked if they could do separate bills for the table over the phone and we were informed That that would be no problem. our waiter/owner? was a complete dud who couldn't get anyone's order correct and twice I reminded them at the table about seperate bills. When it came time to pay, the waiter/owner appeared after we had finished and told us that he couldn't do seperate bills for us. He also put on an 18% gratuity for the table.
Several of the people at our table seemed to be given random numbers for the amount to pay as some payed with credit card or debit. After being challenged on wrong prices, he would make up a new number for the person to pay. My meal came out to $ 42.90 and as there was already tip included, I payed and still did not get a receipt for my meal. I have not worked out if I was charged correctly, but it doesn''t matter as the bitter taste left in my mouth still lingers as I write this review.
Here is the kick of the matter, there was a lineup out the door, because people thought they were getting a good deal with 50% off. It did not seem to matter that the quality was sub standard, his formula seems to be working and he is doing a booming business, but if you like good food and care about your restaurant experience, I would advise you to keep clear of this restaurant. I will never reccommend this restaurant and I will never go back.
So great that yesterday was my second visit. Mom and I had the 3 course meal - at $19.99, it's an amazing deal. On the first visit before the food arrived, we thought that the portions were going to be small but nope, they were pretty decent sizes, and both times we had leftovers to take home. We had the lobster and tomato bisque, seafood pasta and tiramisu. All courses were really yummy and far exceeded my expectations. My boyfriend had the 4 course meal for $29.99. He enjoyed his meal just as much as we did. It was also a pleasure to hear the piano playing during dinner (wasn't too loud at all). I took the leftover pasta to work the next day and it tasted just as good, if not better. I will definitely be coming back to "ciao" down more of their delicious creations.
My friend and I went here on Friday night and were very impressed. We learned about the place vis Opentable and while I had walked by it many times the statute of the Italian cook outside screamed cheesey so I had avoided it. The food is very good traditional Italian at very reasonable prices. Large portions of pasta for $17, 3 course for $20 and 4 course for $30. The wine was well priced. A bottle that we had was $40 but retailed at the LCB at $27 so the mark up was very reasonable. It was Friday so they had a piano player which added a nice touch. The crowd was a nice mix of young couples and older people and the ambiance was a nice place to talk or have a date. My only knock would be, our server was terrific and attentive but after we had eaten he just disappeared (as though he went off shift) and never told us. The other servers served us but it was a bit odd as we weren't told. If you are looking for a party restaurant like the Italian Kitchen this is not the place but if you are looking for great food, no pretention and very good value this is a place worth trying.
I have been to this restaurant 4 times and all have been great. This was my first time on a Monday for their "50 % off on all pasta" day, but I found out that the 50% discount does not apply to all of their pasta items on the menu. Only on the Lasagnas and the choose your pasta items on the back of the menu. Dinner entres are not part of the discount. Their sign is totally off.... Also if you make a reservation via online from their website, you will get a email confirmation but it might not go through to their system. We showed up with a party of six and they didn't have our reservation. Best to call.
I've eaten at the restaurant about 5 times and had take out about 15. The service has never been unbelieveable but it's not as bad as it sounds below either. Actually, the gentlemen at the restaurant have always been very pleasant and friendly on our visits. The food is consistently solid so we've been back several times for the arriabiatta or for the meat sauce. The soups are ok, consistent as well.
I never thought this place was really special, but I certainly have had a few nice meals at this restaurant. I will add that the service has always been great everytime I've visited this restaurant. In addition if you go on tuesdays...pasta is half-off, but the restaurant is extremely busy because of this and you may have to wait a while if you don't have a reservation.
I think this restaurant definitely has room for improvement...but I have some very enjoyable meals at this place.
It was like walking back in time, some people may think that a positive, but in this changing world it was horrible that something was this bad. The pizza was cold and hard and outrageously priced. I wish we had gone somewhere else so we could get all our pizzas there! Didnt tip of course.