Ciao Bella Ristorante owner Giuseppe “Joe” Scalzo admits that he never knew how many wine enthusiasts there were in Northwest Indiana, until his monthly wine classes began to fill up.
“It’s amazing to see the turnout lately to these monthly get togethers,” states Scalzo, whose wine classes are offered on the third Saturday of the month. “When we first started offering them, we would get about 16 people. Last month, we had nearly 50 people show up. It’s been wonderful to see people come together to not only become more educated about wine and wine pairings, but just to see how much fun they have together.”
The monthly class, which gathers from 3pm- 5pm, usually lasts quite longer, with many participants sticking around for a scrumptious dinner and more conversation. “These sorts of offerings show off the true evolution of our restaurant,” says Scalzo, who emigrated to the United States 15 years ago when he was 27 years old. “Our monthly cooking demos are also extremely popular with our diners. It’s certainly a unique way to come together via a shared love of food and good drinks.”
Previously having worked with Rosebud Restaurants and owned two Chicago restaurants, Piazza Bella (since sold) and Via Carducci (now owned by his brother John), Scalzo’s experience with helping events become memorable actually spans many years and something that ultimately sets him apart from the other restaurant owners in Northwest Indiana.
Focusing on the very best in Italian Regional cuisine, Ciao Bella Ristorante’s original recipes are yet another reason people from all across the Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland area coming back for more. Entrees such as the delectable Rigatoni Boscaiola (mushrooms, Calabrese sausage and peas sautéed in a tomato cream sauce) and Tagliata Toscana (NY strip steak with rosemary, peppercorn, broiled and served with arugula and rosemary potatoes) are just some of the mouth-watering dishes Ciao Bella is known for.
“Our new banquet rooms are already booking up for the graduation/first communion season,” says Scalzo, whose restaurant also offers live entertainment each and every Friday night. “This room came to be thanks to the request of our customers. It’s an exciting time to come together and make some memories.”
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