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June 12, 2018
Great Italian food the Port Melbourne way! Ciao Cielo one of Melbourne's most popular Italian eateries has recently moved into it's new home just a little further down Bay St... to no.115.
The new Ciao Cielo opened in late May in Port Melbourne's old courthouse following a 2 year refurbishment. Blood, sweat and probably some tears along the way has seen the 1860's building transformed into a very smart fine diner. This is the love child of owners Kate Dickins and her partner and chef Bryan Nelson who dishes up his passion for Italy onto the plates.
The $1.5 million budget was certainly well spent by owner Kate Dickins and her chef partner Bryan Nelson in close collaboration with Atelier Wagner Architects. The key heritage features are well preserved but with fresh appeal for it's very fashionable clientele.
In the main dining room the soaring ceilings and original sandstone walls create a really cool vibe and give it a very spacious feel. Yet it manages to deliver a cosiness and intimacy created by the fireplaces and booth seating that exude class and up to the minute style. The baby sister Ciao Cucina is a clever more casual addition to the venue that offers all weather dining in an outdoor courtyard adjacent to the main room.
In a recent review for Concrete Playground Melanie Colwell and Libby Curran write... "Take the fine dining route and you'll discover a menu of modern classics, like the king prawn risotto with bisque and marjoram gremolata, a Sardinian-style goat leg with polenta, and the Tuscan-inspired, 1kg grass fed 'bistecca a la Fiorentina', made for sharing. They're backed by plenty of old favourites, with the kitchen's flair for house-made pasta shining through in dishes like the squid ink linguini and a bolognese ragu with tagliatelle.
Meanwhile, Ciao Cucina is dishing up a more casual affair within a 150-seat Amalfi-inspired marquee covered in fairy lights, which is next to the main dining room. It's your go-to for more handmade pasta, traditional woodfired pizzas and a lineup of signature spritzes".
Kate and Bryan selected ESPERIENZE wine glasses and tumblers by Zafferano for their new restaurant "We love the styling and so do the customers... they keep asking us if they can buy them!" says Kate.
So what's next for the duo... refurbish the old Ciao Cielo.... off course!