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Posts from the ‘Ciao Bello’ Category

Earthquake relief efforts: Amatriciana for Amatrice ($2 donated per every dish)

In response to the devastating 6.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred in Central Italy on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, Tony Vallone and the Vallone Family of Restaurants will be donating $2 to relief efforts for every dish of Amatriciana served at Ciao Bello and Tony’s through the month of September.

Named after one of the villages hardest hit by the earthquake, Amatrice (pronounced AH-mah-TREE-cheh), our traditional-style Amatriciana (ah-MAH-tree-CHEE’AH-nah) is made using guanciale, a classic cured meat (pig’s jowl) made in the mountains to the east of Rome where the earthquake occurred.

“Amatrice,” says Tony, “is one of my favorite places to visit. It’s famous for its black truffles and its salumi. It’s also one of the most beautiful places in Italy. It breaks my heart to know that it was destroyed in the earthquake.”

At the end of the September, monies collected for earthquake relief will be donated to the Italian Red Cross campaign for aid and recovery.

Here’s the link to donate to the Italian Red Cross directly.

On Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 3:36 a.m. local time, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Central Italy 10 kilometers southeast of Norcia (Umbria).

According to a report published by the New York Times, the first seismic activity was followed by “about 40 quakes over the next three hours, including a 5.5-magnitude temblor at 4:33 a.m.”

The greatest damage occurred in Rieti province in Latium, where hilltop towns Amatrice and Accumoli were devastated. Arquata del Tronto in Ascoli-Piceno province (Marches) was also hard hit.

According to a statement by the mayor of Amatrice, half of the town was destroyed and the historic center was completely wiped away (New York Times).

As of this posting, the earthquakes have claimed the lives of at more than 250 persons.

The death toll is expected to rise. The 2009 earthquake that occurred in Abruzzo took the lives of more than 300 persons.

What is a Super Tuscan? Find out on October 5 with Tony Vallone

Super Tuscan, a term often used to describe big, bold yet nuanced red wines from Italy.

But what does it mean and where did it come from?

The term Super Tuscan is used today to denote red wines from Tuscany that are made using international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah as opposed to the native Sangiovese grape.

Sangiovese isn’t excluded from the blend. And in some cases, even wines made using 100 percent Sangiovese grapes are also considered to be Super Tuscans.

The term came about in the late 80s when certain wines from the region were being classified as table wines — vino da tavola — even though they came with a hefty price tag (owed to the high quality of the wine).

No one really knows who coined the expression but all agree that it first appeared at that time when fine wines from Italy were really beginning to catch on in the U.S.

Want to find out more about Super Tuscans and taste some in good company?

Then please register for the event in our Regional Italian Cuisine Dinner Series:

An Evening in Maremma
with Tony Vallone
Wednesday, October 5

7:00 p.m.
$95 per person
not including tax & gratuity


“As at all of my Regional Italian Cuisine Dinner Series events,” says Tony, “the wines will be free-flowing.”

Super Tuscan Wine Dinner with Tony Vallone October 5

ciao maremma poster

Houstonia food editor Alice Levitt recommends Ciao Bello for Houston Restaurant Weeks

“The standard Restaurant Weeks dinner menu includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert,” writes Houstonia food editor and restaurant critic Alice Levitt this week. “Ciao Bello, though, goes above and beyond with four courses for $35. A lot of food? Sure, but starting with local sweet corn agnolotti, then progressing to heirloom cauliflower soup, snapper in walnut brown butter with wild mushrooms and finishing with limoncello pie may be worth a little bit of gut busting.”

Click here for Alice’s review “Where Should You Be Eating for Houston Restaurant Weeks?”

And click here for our Houston Restaurant Weeks menus, including our Houston Restaurant Weeks Brunch menu.

Please call 713-960-0333 to reserve.


Click here for a PDF version of the DINNER menu.

HRW 2016 Ciao Dinner.indd

Click here for a PDF version of the BRUNCH menu.

HRW 2016 Ciao Brunch.indd

SAVE THE DATE: “An Evening in Maremma with Tony Vallone” October 5

SAVE THE DATE: The next event in Tony Vallone’s highly acclaimed Regional Italian Cuisine Dinner Series will be held on October 5 at Ciao Bello.

This gathering’s theme will be “An Evening in Maremma with Tony Vallone.”

“As with all of my Italian Regional Cuisine dinners,” says Tony, “the menu will include
classic dishes from our featured region and the wines will be free-flowing.”

“A not-to-miss event for foodies and wine lovers.”

Maremma is located on the Tuscan coastline and is one of the world’s greatest sources for top fine wines.


Short Rib Hash featured on our Houston Restaurant Weeks menu

Click here for our Houston Restaurant Weeks Menu (August 1-September 5, brunch).



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