A new restaurant in Peckville whips up traditional Italian dishes with an American twist.
Ciao Bistro & Bar, 978 Main St., opened in December and soon felt the effects of coronavirus-related restrictions. Now back up and running, though, it serves daily specials while offering indoor dining and takeout.
Chef’s Table recently chatted about the eatery with Tony Curtis, general manager and chef.
Q: When did you open?
A: We opened on Dec. 1, 2020, and got shut down less than two weeks later for the December (COVID-19) shutdown. We did some takeout and delivery. It was a rough few weeks. It was busy after we opened back up. In January and February, we got progressively busier, and March has also been a good month for us.
Q: What kind of food do you serve, and what is available for people with special diets?
A: I would classify us as Italian-American. We offer classic (Italian) favorites with a slight (America) twist. We want to be the neighborhood establishment that you can go to for special occasions and also be the (place) for a casual night out with friends. We welcome everyone, and we are a very family-friendly restaurant.
Q: What are your most-ordered menu items and why?
A: Our Chicken Sambuca is a unique chicken dish; the sauce is creamy and a little sweet. (Also) the Cheesesteak, made from thinly sliced New York Strip that is fresh (never frozen), and our Pineapple-Teriyaki Shrimp. People like this one because all the ingredients work great together.
Q: How did your menu come to be?
A: A little traditional Italian with an American twist. We have a menu to satisfy the Italian mood, but we also have items like burgers, sandwiches, etc. We came up with unique appetizer specials because people were asking for them. I brought my experience (from) other places I worked, which is a little more than Italian fare. That’s where the twist comes in.
Q: How would you describe the restaurant’s atmosphere?
A: We have two rooms. The bistro is a dining room with dim lights and old Italian music, perfect for a nice dinner or date night. The bar area is more laidback. Once the restrictions are lifted, we hope to get some local entertainment.
Q: What type of seating do you offer?
A: We offer indoor seating and are open to dine-in services. We have some high-tops in the bar. In the future, we are remodeling the bar area.
Q: What kinds of promotions do you offer?
A: Tuesdays, Clam and Oyster Night; Wednesdays, Steak Night; Thursdays, Boneless Wing and Chicken Parm Night.
Q: Do you offer catering, event space, etc.?
A: Yes, we offer onsite and offsite catering.
Q: Are you currently offering delivery, takeout or curbside pickup?
A: We just offer dine-in and takeout right now.
Q: Where do you see the restaurant headed in the future?
A: My vision for the restaurant’s future would be a great happy hour place with great food and some local entertainment.
Laura Rysz is the features copy editor and calendar editor at The Times-Tribune and runs the Talk of the Times column, which focuses on local fundraisers and other events. She also writes Chef’s Table that profiles restaurants around the region. Additionally, Laura curates events online on AccessNEPA.com. Laura is involved in the special Mother’s Day edition and curates occasional features Marry Memories and Times Travelers. She is a graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School, New Jersey, and earned an English professional writing degree with a minor in mass communications from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. She also earned a certificate in Social Media Marketing from Rutgers Business School. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9100 x5228.