Ciao Wood-Fired Pizza & Osteria
14115 St. Germain Dr.
Centreville, VA 20121
Italian | $$
Tucked away in a busy Centreville strip mall is one of Northern Virginia best Italian restaurants. Ciao Osteria has received an OpenTable Diners’ Choice award in 2014, 2015, and 2016, Best of NOVA 2015 and 2016 by Northern Virginia Magazine, and 4.5 rating and Certificate of Excellence 2016 on TripAdvisor. It should go without saying, reservations are recommended.
The delicious warm bread arrived shortly after we were seated.
For our appetizer we chose buttermilk battered fried oysters, served on a bed of roasted corn and sweet relish. The oysters were lightly battered and cooked perfectly. They paired nicely with the corn relish.
For her entrée, my wife chose the Lasagna di Carne. She uses lasagna as a dish by which to judge Italian restaurants and loved this one. The lasagna noodles are smothered in a hearty meat sauce with fresh ricotta and mozzarella.
I asked the chef to choose my dish and was pleasantly surprised with this Maccheroni con Fritella, with pancetta, onions, fava beans, tossed with egg and pecorino Romano. The lightly coated fresh Maccheroni pasta was superb. The pancetta and onions give the dish that savory balance. The fava beans were a nice touch since you don’t see them on many menus these days.
The homemade cannoli were the best I have had and reminded me of my days in New York. The traditional New York Cheesecake with a sponge cake crust was good. It was almost unfair to the cheesecake to taste the cannoli first.
Service was excellent with ample staff, attentive but not intrusive. The noise level was light but grew louder as the restaurant filled, but was never in the hard to hear range. This is a must add to your list. Half way through her lasagna my wife said, “this is not a restaurant that serves Italian food, this is an Italian restaurant.” She was so right.