Italians were not only the first people to put tomatoes in cuisine, but also the first to take photographs of themselves pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Delight in their inventiveness with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of Italian fare at Ciago’s.
Ciago's whips up a slew of scratch-made plate toppers, showcased side by side in a menu comprising Italian specialties and American classics. Latch tentacles onto a handful of lightly breaded and fried calamari ($7.95) tossed in garlic butter sauce. Or, dive straight into the specialty-pizza selection with slices of Bobby's Delight pie, a brawny aggregation of steak, red peppers, and portobello mushrooms ($10+). Lovers of pasta and saucy beards can savor plates of Garrett's homemade baked lasagna ($12.50) and seafood linguini ($13.95), and those hankering for comforting breaded fare may sink teeth into the Ciago's burger ($7.25) or the fried-green-tomato BLT ($7.95), nestled between thick pillows of texas toast and slathered with a tangy chipotle rémoulade.
Ciago's friendly, neighborhood atmosphere invites friends and families to share meals within the spacious, well-lit dining room or complement main dishes with sides of fresh air under the restaurant's covered patio. HDTVs hang over the inviting wooden bar, beckoning diners to take in games or reach out to pluck bushels of hi-def fruit.
Over plates of Italian dishes and drinks, visitors to Ciago’s can spot multiple generations of the Candes family bustling between the kitchen, dining room, and full bar. The family and staff carry plates of veal parmesan and pizzas crowned with artichoke hearts, jalapeños, and eggplant, which diners wash down with more than 20 wines. Beneath spotlights at the 20-seat bar, patrons look up breathlessly at high-definition televisions as athletic events reach their conclusion and players are doused in Gatorade to prove they aren’t robots. Tabletops line up beneath the awning of the outdoor patio and snake out into sunnier areas dappled by the shade. Glittering strings of hanging lights illuminate the patio when night falls or when oversized passing parade floats eclipse the sun.
522 Saint Marys St.
Raleigh, North Carolina 27605