Walk into Ciao Bella’s restaurant on any given evening, and chances are that you will be greeted as one of the family. That’s just the way it was in owner Giuseppe “Joe” Scalzo's homeland of Calabria, Italy . . . and it’s the way he has always made his Schererville eatery, making it the perfect location for all your upcoming wedding events.
“Ciao Bella translates to 'Hello, beautiful,' and that’s certainly how we like to make our customers feel,” explains Scalzo, who emigrated to the United States 15 years ago when he was 27 years old. “We know with these events, there can be some anxiety. We want them to feel at home here, whether it’s a rehearsal dinner or a bridal shower. We will do everything we can to ease any sort of anxiety.”
Ciao Bella recently unveiled a brand new private dining room space, ideal for all of your intimate wedding needs. Designed to seat 60-65 guests, the exquisitely designed space serves up the ideal ambiance for family and friends to come together to celebrate your special union. “For bridal showers, our brides tend to serve a healthy and a bit lighter dish such as the delicious Pasta Primavera,” says Scalzo, who is currently booking the room 1-2 months ahead of the event date. “For rehearsal dinners, the men get a bit more involved, and seem to love the heavier choices such as the lamb chops or a wonderful filet.”
Whether serving a plated meal or a family style luncheon or dinner, your guests are sure to relish the deliciousness of Ciao Bella’s specialties, including everything from Insalata Di Mare (poached scallops, calamari and shrimp marinated in a red wine vinaigrette with red onions and roasted red bell peppers set on a bed of radicchio) to Spaghetti Carbonara (crispy bacon, sautéed onions and garlic, tossed with cooked spaghetti). “We have a long list of wine selections that will go well with any of our dishes,” says Scalzo, whose restaurant also serves as the preferred caterer at the nearby Centennial Park venue. “We also have a wine tasting room that our customers rave about.”
Couples love to share their story with family and friends, so Ciao Bella’s new private dining rooms are also designed for multimedia presentations that can truly set your event apart from the rest. Interested in sharing music straight from your iPod? The room has Internet capabilities along with a number of easily accessible electric sources.
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 is something that ultimately sets him apart from the other restaurant owners in Northwest Indiana. “I often find myself writing a personal note to the bride and groom on the night before their event, expressing how thrilled we are to share this special time with them,” adds Scalzo. “Adding this private dining area is going to help us make it even more special.”