Vicki (love her to death) and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary at Ciao Bella Italian Restaurant this evening. It’s located on Poplar just west of Mendenhall in Memphis, TN. We’ve been there a few times in the past and each time it gets better.
It’s listed as an Italian Grille, but it seems more sophisticated than that to me. Ciao Bella is also a Project Green Fork restaurant. I was remembering the Seared Scallops over Risotto from our last meal there, and was hoping that is was going to be a special tonight as well.
We were greeted by Cole, who was exactly what you want in a server. Very attentive, but not all up in your business. We asked about the specials, and he pulled out his notebook. This did not bother me at all. He’d been out of town for 2 months, and I’d much rather them be read to me than half-memorized and spoken slowly waiting for whatever “oh, yeah, and a reduction sauce” that he’d have to check on and get back to me later. He was great.
The specials change nightly; otherwise they wouldn’t be “special”. The internet said the lamb was good, but neither that nor the scallops were “off the menu” this evening. I ordered the Seafood Cannelloni from the pasta menu. Tube shaped pasta stuffed with seasoned lobster, scallops and shrimp, topped with red pepper pesto and a cream sherry sauce. Wonderful flavor combination in 2 cannelloni tubes. Delicious. Don’t know that I’d order it again, but only because there are so many other great dishes on the menu.
Vicki ordered the Red Snapper with Goat Cheese Risotto from the nightly special menu. Outstanding. Fish was excellently seasoned, and not flaky or over-cooked. Paired perfectly with the risotto. We ordered a side of Spanakopita, which was the best I’ve ever tasted. Flaky crust and just the right amount (huge) of spinach. We topped it off with some Key Lime Pie. Perfect meal for a perfect evening.
We always have a great time when we go out, but when the meal, the atmosphere, and the service are this good, we will make plans to go back soon.