Ciao Italia is making a name for itself despite only opening recently, so an overdue visit was required! If there’s one thing Dunfermline doesn’t lack its Italian restaurants, with several spread across the town centre and the national chains occupying the outer areas. All credit to the Ciao Italia team for attempting to do justice to Italian cuisine, when locals have become tired of run-down and uninspiring Italian fare.
The choice of location is interesting, just outside the town centre on a busy road. Thankfully car parking is available behind the restaurant and is a must. The outside isn’t that inspiring and we were surprised that there we no menus available to browse before entering. It’s worth plucking up the courage to enter, as the interior is modern and the use of skylights enhances the fresh, clean design within.
The menu is well judged and contains a range of dishes including steaks, veal and plenty of seafood options, the only minor criticism would be the lack of salad mains. Specials are available and seem based on seasonal offerings or (hopefully) local produce such as scallops and asparagus. For starters we went for the asparagus which was served simply with parmesan, pepper and lemon. A touch of balsamic vinegar rounded off an enjoyable starter. The other choice was the traditional bruschetta with diced tomato, fresh basil olive oil and oregano. Actually ‘fresh’ is something we could use to describe Ciao Italia as the food consistently tasted of this, and the use of herbs was excellent. Three bruschetta’s in one starter is unusual, as we’re more used to two or even one from some restaurants. All the dishes we ordered were generous helpings and considering the prices on the menu, excellent value this trend applied to the drink prices as well.
For the mains the Alla’ Amatriciana was well balanced and fresh, while the risotto ciao Italia with the use of Norcia sausage an interesting choice. This gave the dish for want of a better word an ‘aniseed’ undercurrent and went down a treat. A first for me and compared to the risotto I experienced at Giulianos in Edinburgh, night and day. Rounding off the Italian touches are the Italian wines, beer and water. The staff are very friendly, attentive and when we had a slight request they organised this for us.
There’s plenty more to discover on the menu, so we’ll certainly be back and judging from how busy Ciao Italia was getting when we left, many locals are also enjoying this new arrival. While I may have one or two minor criticisms, these overall pale into comparison with the experience we had.
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