HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Is Ciao Bella any good?

I remember CB from years ago and was wondering if I should revisit...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: BBHound

      Wow, thanks for the extensive review.

      1. re: jmo9

        Nothing else really needs to be said. Like my father used to say, "NO" means "NO".

        1. re: jmo9

          No succinctly answers your question.

          1. re: icculus

            Hey, at least they're consistent and maintain the same poor standards..:)

        2. I'll enthusiastically echo the naysayers here. Generic pasta dishes at very best, easily outdone by a whole host of Italian places in the North End and elsewhere. Overpriced, too. It does have outdoor cafe seating on Newbury Street, but that's about all that's good about it.

          1. I've never tried the food, but we walked in there once after years of curiosity and bailed out because no one acknowleged us standing there. Meanwhile, it sunk in the place looked surprisingly run down on the inside and in need of a makeover. I've heard it's linked to Daisy's downstairs and one or the other was going to expand into the other's space.

            1. Terrible service, absolutely terrible. Food is mediocre at best. The famous chop should be famous for being one of the most over-hyped entrees in the city. I don't often post hyperbolic negative feedback but my handful of visits have been consistently wretched.

              1. Ciao Bella is the kind of place that gives Newbury Street dining a bad name. Bad food, lousy service, high prices. To be fair, I haven't eaten there in years, but it still looks like the kind of joint that survives on its patio. Daisy Buchanan's downstairs: a hard-drinking meat-rack kind of place, a bit scary. Walk swiftly and steadily away.

                1. Hate to be a lemming, but I'll heartily support all of the naysayers here. Had lunch there a couple of weeks ago thanks to the beautiful weather, and figured the antipasto would be a safe bet. Sadly, they seem to be unfamiliar with the concept of simple preparations of excellent ingredients.

                  I'll grant them a decent piece of Parmesan, but there was not another decent ingredient in the salad. Ordinary greens, some average marinated mushrooms, jarred roasted peppers, Shaw's Genoa salami, dried out prosciutto, green olives stuffed with pimientos (!), completely undressed and unseasoned.

                  When I requested some vinaigrette, the waitress returned with a bottle each of EVOO and Balsamic and said, "Is this what you want?" as if she'd never heard of vinaigrette before. I have no problem with oil & vinegar. In fact, if they were of good quality, I might even prefer them. But she didn't seem to know the difference.

                  I cut my losses, smiled, and said, "That's fine."


                  1. I'll jump on the NO bandwagon. It's embarrassing that a restaurant that poor is still in business. Says something for the location I suppose.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: bgraves

                      Not only still in business, but perpetually packed on pleasant days.

                      1. re: DoubleMan

                        Which reminds me, is poor old Luigi & Roscoe's at INQ--still the worst name in town, Boston Public Meat notwithstanding--still there? I try not to look...

                        1. re: tatamagouche

                          They've been closed for a while. And I just read a blurb on the new Restaurant L. Isn't it just Boston Public and then the menu is separated into different sections (Boston Public Meat, Boston Public Seafood, etc.). i think that's what Improper said.

                          1. re: Joanie

                            I don't know, the menu says Boston Public and then in small letters "Meat," and it's listed on Open Table as BPM. BP'd certainly be an improvement; better meaningless than borderline porn.
                            But nothing's in INQ's space yet, correct?

                            1. re: tatamagouche

                              Yes. Just passed by it yesterday - still empty.

                    2. I only ate there once and my reaction was less visceral. It was a forgettable meal and the service was subpar. At least it was not as expensive as I feared it might be. So many better options for Italian. Instead of eating at Ciao Bella, walk off your Italian meal elsewhere with a stroll down Newbury St.