Cary >Arts & Entertainment > Ciao Cafe & Wine Bar
201 W Chatham St Ste 100, Cary, NC | Directions 2751135.786981 -78.783952
BEST tiramasu and wonderful atmosphere – I am so disgusted with the negative reviews about Ciao. Yes, the owner is curt, but I prefer my waiter to just refill my glass and bring my food, not try to become my friend. At other restaurants I get so annoyed because I will be in the middle of a conversation and my waiter will just interrupt and start talking. I just think to myself "Excuse me, but I came here to spend time with my friends... not my waiter." Secondly, I hate that everytime I go out to a mainstream restaurant, the minute I finish my food, they bring the bill, basically saying "You can leave now." If you want a place to run in and shove food down your mouth and leave then Ciao isn't right for you. Go to Mcdonald's for that. They don't rush service because dining in Europe is about socializing and savoring your food. I am glad that there are people who actually appreciate this taste of European culture and the negativity surrounding it only proves that Cary needs MORE of these places so people can start to see outside their world of fast food chains.
As for the food, I am not a huge fan of Italian so I usually just get a simple salad. I go to Ciao more for the atmosphere. However, they do have the BEST tiramasu I have every had! My boyfriend and I were planning on going there for our anniversary just for the tiramasu but found out it had closed. Does anyone know if they moved or closed for good? I hope not because it was such a disappointment not being able to go there. It's perfect for dates but you can also go casual with friends.
Awful customer experience – We experienced Ciao on a Friday night recently with another couple who seem to like it, and go fairly regularly. I had been warned by my fiancee, who had been there previously with a girlfriend, that the owner was a bit cantankerous, but I thought since we were going with 'regulars', our experience might be different. Boy, was I wrong! The food was overpriced and the quality was poor (the bread had the faint odor and flavor of mold). We like to patronize independent, hometown businesses, so these things can be overlooked and remedied. What can't be overlooked, however, is the attitude of the owner toward his customers...it's very close to contempt...I really felt as if we were inconveniencing him, and if it hadn't been 7:00 pm on a Friday night, I would have thought he was trying to close up. If you are as selective in how you spend your entertainment dollars as we are, I would recommend you pass this place by.
Average food overshadowed by terrible service – The other reviews complaining about terrible service are spot-on. From the moment we walked in, until the moment we left, the waiter (who I believe is also the owner) acted as if we were inconveniencing him simply by being there - in spite of us being the only people in the restaurant! For example, my wife noticed there was a gnat or something swimming in her wine glass ? no big deal, this sort of thing happens ? so we asked the waiter to replace it. He quipped ?we can?t be responsible for that? and begrudgingly got her another glass. The food was average, but the poor service can't be overlooked. Maybe that's why we were the only customers at 7pm on a Saturday night. There are too many great restaurants around here to waste your time at this one.
Rude, Slow, and Dismissive! – I was shocked by the treatment of newcomers. Atmosphere dominated by the owner's mood of the moment. Huge disparity between the insiders (who seemed to drink unlimited wine on an open tab) and other customers. Never felt like such a wallflower before in my life. I think the good buzz and newspaper profiles during the early days resulted in this intolerable arrogance. Level of rudeness that made the food/wine/atmosphere irrelevant. I've tried it twice -- never again -- and I've heard horror stories from other customers as well.
Rude and Nasty – A friend and I thought this would be a great place to visit. We were wrong. There was no reception or greeting upon arrival. We seated ourselves at the bar. Obviously, they were busy because the seating was limited due to dirty place settings at the bar. The owner finally tossed us some menus and was very curt. After a lengthy wait we ordered. We were explaining what we wanted and he kept interrupting us and never wrote down the order. Needless to say we never received our full order. When we asked for the check and to cancel the rest of our order he began arguing with us and denied the fact that we even ordered other items. He then proceeds to laugh at the situation and he kept making condescending remarks about us to his friends at the bar. I was appalled at the way he conducted himself and his business. I have eaten at many restaurants but never had such a horrible experience in my life. Please save your money and time and go elsewhere.
Rude staff – My husband and I were ignored when we entered the place, so we chose an empty table and sat down. The bar staff saw us enter and ignored us and then went on to serve a group of people who came in after us. When my husband asked if we could be served, the "owner" snapped "did you talk to any of the staff before you sat down?" There was no sign saying please wait to be seated and they had seen us enter after all!!Needless to say we do not take such rudeness lightly, so we left. I would not call this friendly in any way........ unless as previously stated you are already "in" with the staff!
A true gem in Raleigh/Cary – I have been to Ciao on 6 or 7 occasions, and every time has been excellent. I work at a restaurant close to here, and often came in dressed in jeans and a t-shirt after work. I also came several times with a date, and was treated as a VIP guest each time by the friendly owner. He goes well out of his way to make sure every guest is taken care of. On one occasion we were given a free dessert just for being there, which made the evening. Great Italian wines and cuisine, great service, and one of the best date atmospheres in the area. I sincerelt hope the owner is not selling the place as i heard recently, and will definately stop in more often to see that this does not happen.
A small cafe with big personality, this Italian hot spot is perfect for romantic nights out. – The Scene
With only a few tables arranged along Ciao's yellow faux finished walls, this Italian cafe and wine bar is small in size, but big in romance. A distinct European ambiance sweeps diners off their feet: candles burn in wall sconces, sexy music plays in the background, and tiny red tables and cushy bench seats encourage cozy conversations. The Italian owner, Piero Potenza, buzzes from table to table pouring wine and charming guests.
It's best to bring light appetites, as the menu is filled with appetizers, salads and panini. Smoked salmon piled with asparagus is light and flavorful, while the seviche offers a satisfyingly bitter bite (and arrives in a tall martini glass). Desserts are almost as important as the restaurant's extensive wine list; the peach creme brulee is creamy and loaded with sweet bits of fruit.
Wonderful after-work unwind spot – I've been a few times with friends and the staff are friendly, the dishes scruptious, and the wines always delicious. I've *never* encountered attitude or an unwelcoming feeling (even after moving to 3 different tables on the first visit, trying to find a 'sweet spot'). Note this is a wine bar and cafe- there is an Italian restaurant in the same plaza if you want a full meal. I usually have the well-priced and very generous fennel salad. Yummy!
Perfect Date! – My companion and I had heard about this cozy little wine bar quite some time ago. I am glad we finally made the effort to check it out. We had a bottle of wine in the romantic dim (candle) lit room. We ordered a selection of cheeses & meats. (A typical dinner for us). The food was excelent, the wine divine. The server (owner?) was curt, but we weren't concerned with him. His service was professional and prompt. We look forward to returning often.
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