What You'll Get
Mount Vesuvius's eruption was a horrible travesty for dining, bathing unsuspecting noodles in layer of marinara that obliterated all sauce varieties for decades. Taste the Renaissance of flavor with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Italian cuisine at Ciao Bella Ristorante in Schererville.
Owner Joe Scalzo imports memories from his Italian upbringing to create tables full of delicacies at Ciao Bella. Like a cactus corsage, the menu is rustically refined, bringing rural Italian charm to dishes such as the 12-inch pizza ai fichi topped with goat cheese, figs, onions, and a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze ($13). Evening entrees fuel dreams about spaghetti schooners with the tonno all' algio dolce, a pan-seared ahi tuna ($25) and anchor appetites with meaty tagliata toscana, thin slices of New York–strip steak with cherry tomatoes, arugula, and oven-roasted potatoes ($25). Ciao Bella's pasta selections sate traditional Italic cravings with noodly ease, including linguini ai frutti di mare, a bed of linguini tossed with shrimp, scallops, baby clams, mussels, and calamari ($18), and lasagna della casa with sheets of house-made pasta and classic bolognese sauce ($14).
Patrons can wash down filling fare with a hearty glass of wine ($6–$11/glass) whilst reclining on the outdoor seating, or they can admire the artistry of the elegant dining room, which borrows the dim, candlelit atmosphere of the most romantic jack-o'-lanterns.
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Oct 31, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as a gift. Limit 1 per table, limit 1 per visit. Dine-in only. Not valid on holiday. Not valid toward daily specials. Not valid with other offers. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About Ciao Bella Ristorante
Giuseppe "Joe" Scalzo had to turn down his first opportunity to manage a restaurant, a small trattoria in Calabria he'd been working in as he attended school. He had spent his entire professional career working in Tuscan eateries and wanted the job, but his educational path led him to Chicago's Loyola University in pursuit of a business degree. It didn't take him long to realize that the thing he missed most about home was working in a restaurant. With his newly acquired business acumen, he began his foray into opening Italian restaurants: first Piazza Bella, then Via Carducci, and finally his most recent labor of love, Ciao Bella Ristorante.
The kitchen is nestled behind a black-and-white photographic mural, which hints at the sunshine that sparkles along the Mediterranean coastline. Greenery flanks the piece, providing contrast along with the warm, saturated red walls painted with real marinara sauce. As guests revel under dim lighting amid the elegant atmosphere, plates of carefully crafted Italian cuisine arrive at tables alongside traditional thin-crust pizza. The restaurant recently expanded its bar and lounge areas and added a new banquet area for private parties that can seat up to 70. Joe's personal favorite pie is the quattro stagioni, for its savory blend of prosciutto, artichokes, and black olives.