I would venture to say that most people enjoy a good Italian meal; at least I know that I do. The city of Dearborn today is now known for having a large if not the largest population of residents from the Middle East, so one does not think of it as an area for Italian food. At one time there were many Italian eateries in the city, because it had a very large Italian population. Ciao Ristorante opened up with a lot of fanfare and with the promise of offering a great dining experience. The reason I mention this is because the owners of the restaurant already were known for a quality Middle Eastern restaurant, as that is their heritage. There was some hesitation for some people to try this restaurant because of the fact, but I was willing to try it, as I felt that if I an Armenian could prepare some Italian dishes and be happy with it, so can others. The restaurant was beautifully appointed and it felt that it could have been tucked away in the Tuscan area. The menu had all the main areas written in Italian, so half of the battle had already been achieved.
The restaurant actually had pizza on the menu, but we were looking for something more fun. We both ordered a Carpaccio appetizer, my Bride had tuna (Sashimi grade) and I had the classic tenderloin. My Bride had Linguine with Salmon in a Vodka Sauce, and I had a classic interpretation of Veal Scaloppini. I have to say that all of the dishes were done properly and that I did not notice any problems in the food or the presentation. The wait staff did a great job, and I can see why they were doing a very good job with a lot of repeat business, and you could see why they became popular with the expense account crowd.
When I am in a restaurant that seems oriented to the expense account crowd, and the wine prices reflect an extra margin, I have an automatic reflex that kicks in, making me search for an old friend that will be more economical. As luck would have it, I found a tried and true friend of mine a Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. A bottle of Colle Secco Rubino 1997 by Cantina Tollo. The wine maker was new to me, but the varietal has always been a safe choice for me, in fact I tout it this varietal to people that are looking for a dependable wine for Italian cuisine. I have probably wrote more articles about Montepulciano D’Abruzzo wines than any other Italian varietal, because so far I have never been disappointed, to this day.