For Great Italian, Say Ciao Bella

Posted by Holly Whitfield | October 4th 2011 163 5

There’s a good reason that Memphians have loved Ciao Bella for the last 10 years. The casual East Memphis restaurant serves great Italian food. They also are great at curing extreme pasta cravings (like the one I had a few nights ago).

We started with one of Ciao Bella’s appetizer specials – seared scallops with blood oranges.

Seared Scallops with blood oranges from Ciao Bella

Both scallops and blood oranges are on my shortlist of favorite foods, and these were excellent. They came dressed with a tangy, fruity sauce that complimented both. I’m pretty sure this isn’t on the regular menu, but it should be.

Speaking of the regular menu, it’s pretty impressive. There are pizzas, pastas, Italian-inspired entrees and plenty of seafood.

I couldn’t decide between the pasta and seafood, so I went with the lobster ravioli ($18).

Lobster Ravioli from Ciao Bella

The orange and white striped pasta was much spicier than I thought it would be. I think part of the spice came from the roasted red pepper cream sauce, but the pasta definitely had some flavor on its own.The raviolis were stuffed with chunks of lobster. It wasn’t some lobster mash, either – there were big, visble hunks of meat.

Atmospherically, Ciao Bella is cozy and intimate in a way that makes you forget that you’re in a strip mall. The lights are dim, and when I was there for week day dinner, there were plenty of couples on dates. It’s casual enough for a regular dinner but special enough for an important dinner.

The restaurant is a also larger than it seems from the outside. There’s plenty of seating in the dining room, bar and on the twinkle-lit patio.

Ciao Bella is open Monday – Thursday from 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and from 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. They’ve got a full bar and wine list, and they take cash and credit cards.

Go there:

Ciao Bella

565 Erin Dr
Memphis, Tennessee 38117
(901) 205-2500


Ciao Bella Italian Grill on Urbanspoon


(In the interest of full disclosure, Ciao Bella comped my meal. While it was very nice of them to do so, it had no bearing on my review. All of the opinions expressed above are my own.)

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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  1. antoinette says:

    hi is it far from fairfield hotel pls im going to be in menphis in the coming days .i would realy like to visit as im coming from eu

  2. Paul says:

    Which Fairfield are you staying in?

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