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Ciao Bella - 3 Reviews - 3626 NE 45th St, Seattle WA, Seattle, WA - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (206) 524-6989

Ciao Bella

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3626 NE 45th St, Seattle WA
Seattle, WA 98105
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(206) 524-6989
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Best

Ciao Bella is the perfect romantic, neighbor-hood nook. The large fireplace in the middle of the restaurant casts such sultry lights and shadows throughout the restaurant to creat...

Worst

All reviews seem positive

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Charming neighborhood Italian bistro 5/17/2006

The Scene: A little house converted into a restaurant which is surprisingly roomy inside on a busy street (25th north of U Village). There is a piano by the door so some nights they may play it, but on a Tuesday we visited, nobody. Dimly lit, warm-toned (orangish yellow) walls, red curtains in spots, tasteful forged iron and glass lighting fixtures, a big round brick fire pit in the middle of the main dining room with copper vent over it. Definitely a warm ambiance; very secluded. You don't notice you're on a busy street once you're in. The People: It's possible there are other waiters who called in sick, but there was just one fellow working the 8-9 tables which were occupied (too high a table-to-waiter ratio to provide good service, IMHO). He also manned the front desk. Customers are definitely older - ranging from mid-30's to 60's or 70's. Quite a few button down shirts, some ties and properly dressed ladies. Seems like the kind of place where the more traditional neighborhood people have been dropping in because it's "comfortable". The Food: Homey, authentic Italian. Seems like you stopped in someone's home kitchen. Translation = Nothing super refined, but very authentic Italian comfort food. Anyone who decides not to fry tender calamari is good in my book, and they do just that - their calamari appetizer is flash-stewed with tomatoes, Kalamata olives, garlic, basil, wine, and little chili. Mmmm. Their minestrone is uneventful, like you had someone's mom's soup (with very unevenly chopped veggies), but the flavor is good and authentic. Dipping oil/Balsamic vinegar combo for bread comes with herbs and garlic; while it's by no means high-end olive oil or matured vinegar, it again tastes authentic and goes well with the rustic bread. Their pesto is very good with nicely toasted pine nuts. The Service: Dicey and more European than American. Translation = It's not going to be fast, so don't go there if you are in a hurry. Only go if you are feeling laid back and feel like taking your time to enjoy your meal. Definitely faster service than what you would receive in, say, Ireland, but too many tables for one person. It could've been an off night. The man (very Italian) tries hard, though, and you almost feel bad for him. The Verdict: It's a charming neighborhood bistro with simple, authentic dishes. The dishes are $10-$20, averaging around $15. They taste good and homey, but nothing spectacular. Easy-going and unpretentious, probably very romantic if the fire is going in cold weather. A sensible choice for everyday dining, but the level of food or service probably wouldn't cut it for more special occasions, unless you have a personal memory associated with the place or its people. more

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Effortless Romance 4/13/2006

Ciao Bella is the perfect romantic, neighbor-hood nook. The large fireplace in the middle of the restaurant casts such sultry lights and shadows throughout the restaurant to create a true ambiance. The wait staff are personable and friendly, even if the kitchen is backed up with orders. Last time I dined here I was referred to as "bella" throughout the course of the meal--- what girl would not enjoy that? The menu is a typical Italian one but at Ciao Bella you have the added guarantee that anything you order will be well-prepared and flavorful. The portion sizes are just right--- not skimpy as in high-end downtown restaurants and not excessive as in some casual Italian restaurants. You can always expect to take a little of that pasta home with you. more

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Love it! 3/20/2006

Ciao Bella is such a sweet restaurant. I had passed by it probably a zillion times before actually stopping in for dinner. Dimly lit, warm and inviting, I was thrilled to be seated beside the large circular fireplace. Their house wines are great, I thorougly enjoyed the pino grigio. Prices are reasonable and food is excellent. The service could have been better, but I admit they were very busy. This is an excellent place to get close to the one you love. more
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