Ciao Cucina Bar Offers Up Tasty Italian In Coconut Creek

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COCONUT CREEK (CBSMiami) — Say “Ciao” to Ciao Cucina Bar, the new Italian gastropub at the Promenade in Coconut Creek.

“The reason we named it Ciao is because the moment you come in, you say “ciao.” When you leave, you say “ciao.” It’s the beginning and end of your experience,” said owner George Pappas.

Born and raised in Greece, George Pappas always had a dream of doing a modern take on *Italian* classics.

“I always wanted to do something with an Italian concept. I believe the Italian cuisine is the closest to Greek cuisine,” he said. “This is something a little more contemporary fresh and trendy.”

What’s also contemporary and fresh is the look of Ciao. The 5,000 square foot space is both rustic and modern with vintage light fixtures and a few specialties from George’s childhood years, like a Vespa in the front.

“From when I was 11 years old, we used to sneak out of the house and take my fathers moped. This is how it started, with a Vespa. I had a Vespa on my first date. We owe it to the Vespa which made us men,” he said laughing.

In the back, with a view into the kitchen at the glass-enclosed pasta station, diners can watch Chef Angelo makes his homemade pasta from scratch.

Chef grills up CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo’s first tasting plate: grilled octopus from Spain. It’s boiled — grilled and seasoned with parsley sauce and lemon.

“I’ve had octopus in so many ways but this has more gusto. It’s meaty its tender. It feels like a meal, sharing plate or a meal,” said CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo after tasting.

Next an item from the lunch menu and a favorite of Petrillo’s: A Prosciutto di Parma sandwich with fresh mozzarella, lettuce, and tomato served with parmesan polenta fries.

“Drop the mic!” she shouted. “The prosciutto is fresh and light and the mozzarella is also so fresh and the lettuce gives it crunch. This panini is seared perfectly. This is my sandwich!”

And finally a Mediterranean fish called Dorade served tail side up.

“We pan sear it and finish it in the broiler, and prepare a tomato base with celery and a garlic sauce that we pour over it. It’s an excellent choice actually,” said Pappas.

This tender, flavorful fish looked so delicious cameraman Tony Jerez couldn’t wait. He jumped into the TV shot, looked at the camera and mouthed “delicious.”

And don’t forget dessert. The warm Nutella bread pudding is simply heaven.

Ciao Cucina is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner with a happy hour every night. For more info:

More from Lisa Petrillo

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