Dinner at ABODE: A Pop Up by Sarah Ashley Schiear & Gregg Drusinsky

When I found out my friend Sarah Ashley Schiear would be a contestant on the ABC cooking showing The Taste, I couldn’t have been more excited! I have been watching  and cheering for her each week on Tuesday nights as she advances to the next round, one bite at a […]


Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts: Recipe from an Edible Mosaic

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

If you are anything like me, the photo on the cover of this book made my mouth water as soon as I saw it.

The book,  An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair, was written by my friend Faith Gorsky from An Edible Mosaic . This new release is Faith’s first cookbook , […]


Welcome to Ciao Fiore!

Che piacere vederti! How nice it is to see you! Benvenuto Amici! Welcome Friends!

Welcome to the Grand Opening of Ciao Fiore! An enchanting outdoor ristorante on the Mediterranean Coast featuring alfresco dining in an ambrosial garden. Chefs Norma from Platanos, Mangoes & Me!, Debi from Table Talk, and Lori Lynn from Taste With The Eyes are collaborating and cooking together in a virtual Italian cucina to create a captivating five-star four-course meal enhanced with edible flowers and herbs dal giardino.

[caption id="attachment_23177" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Il Menu"][/caption]

ANTIPASTI TAVOLA Ricotta Fresca, Arugula Flowers Roasted Vegetables Italian Sausages and Prosciutto Assorted Breads and Focaccia Giardiniera – Pickled Vegetables and Olives Mixed Greens with Nasturtium Flowers

RISOTTO Meyer Lemon & Pink Rose Petal Risotto

PRIMO Pan-Seared Branzino with Cucumber Salmoriglio Over a Wild Arugula Salad with Cannellini Beans & Feta Garnished with Borage Blossoms

DOLCE Lavender & Mascarpone Panna Cotta with Strawberry Caviar Chocolate Arancini and Pistachio Creme Anglaise Garnished with Micro Flowers

(please click on the menu heading for complete recipes of all the menu items)

[caption id="attachment_23203" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Relax and Enjoy the View"][/caption]

To begin your experience here at Ciao Fiore! we’d like you to offer you a glass of Prosecco infused with our wild hibiscus flowers. Then, at your leisure, help yourselves to the fabulous offerings on the antipasti tavola. Don’t miss our ricotta fresca, try this fresh cheese on the homemade bread with roasted peppers, sprinkled with peppery arugula flowers. Please have at seat on the terrace at the seaside table and enjoy the view of the sparkling blue Mediterranean while you relax and savor the first course.

[caption id="attachment_23184" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Antipasti Tavola"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_23182" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Seaside Table"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_23185" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Arugula Flowers"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_23186" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Ricotta Fresca"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_23187" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Nasturtium"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_23188" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Prosecco Infused with Wild Hibiscus"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_23189" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Blue Hibiscus"][/caption]

We hope you enjoyed the first course with-a-view at Ciao Fiore! Now if you’ll please follow me to your table in the garden area where we’ll be serving the primo and dolce courses. Watch your step. As we stroll through our gardens you’ll notice all the various flowers and herbs that grace our menu. Chefs Norma, Debi, and Lori Lynn are passionate about using the beautiful color, texture, and flavor of edible flowers to enhance every dish.

[caption id="attachment_23200" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="To the Garden..."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_23192" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Garden Table"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_23303" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Meyer Lemon & Pink Rose Petal Risotto"][/caption]

For the risotto our Chef says that the aromas of citrus plus floral make for a heady perfume. She adds just a hint of rose water plus a chiffonade of “passionate kisses” rose petals to transform this creamy citrus risotto into a blissful dish.

[caption id="attachment_23310" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Our Meyer Lemon Tree"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_23237" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Pan-Seared Branzino, Cucumber Salmoriglio, Borage"][/caption]

Fresh from the sea pan-seared fillets are served with salmoriglio, a Sicilian fish sauce made with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and herbs. For our Grand Opening, this particular version of the classic sauce is enhanced with Meyer lemon confit, red chiles, cucumber, and Castelvetrano olives.

[caption id="attachment_23293" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Fishing Boat off the Coast"][/caption]

Our Chefs feel fortunate to have fresh-caught fish delivered to our restaurant daily. It’s simply not possible to get branzino any fresher than here at Ciao Fiore!

[caption id="attachment_23239" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Borage Blossoms to Mirror the Color of the Sea"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_23196" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Borage & Lavender"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_23199" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Maso Canali Pinot Grigio"][/caption]

Our Sommelier at Ciao Fiore! recommends enjoying the primo course with a crisp dry white wine. She suggests a Maso Canali 2009 Pinot Grigio from Trentino’s finest hillside vineyards. It’s well-balanced with light citrus aromas, fresh acidity, and a long clean finish.

[caption id="attachment_23224" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Ciao Fiore! Edible Gardens"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_23225" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Dessert Plate"][/caption]

Our Pastry Chef adds frozen chocolate ganache to the center of a risotto ball before rolling it in bread crumbs and frying. Once out of the oil, these arancini are rolled in a mixture of cocoa powder and sugar. The warm chocolate center spills out like lava with the first bite. They are pretty amazing.

[caption id="attachment_23226" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Lavender"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_23227" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Lavender & Mascarpone Panna Cotta with Strawberry Caviar"][/caption]

By employing molecular cooking techniques our Pastry Chef transforms her strawberry sauce into strawberry caviar, tiny micro pearls that burst in the mouth. She flavors the creamy mascarpone panna cotta with the bountiful lavender in our the garden.

Micro Flowers

[caption id="attachment_23229" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Chocolate Arancini and Pistachio Creme Anglaise"][/caption]

The Pistachio Creme Anglaise gives the plate a nutty warmth which brings the dessert elements together. It is really nice with a spoonful of the panna cotta, and equally enjoyable as a dip for the chocolate arancini.

Would you care for a cappuccino to sip alongside your dessert course? The garden setting at Ciao Fiore! is tranquil, here we hope you will savor all that the Mediterranean Coast has to offer. Feel free to linger just a little while longer…

[caption id="attachment_23245" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Arrivederci! Thank You for Visiting Ciao Fiore!"][/caption]

Ciao Fiore! is a Virtual Restaurant participating in The 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group “Restaurant Wars” Competition

Links to all the competing restaurants will be posted Friday (here).