Any longtime reader or Phantom Phan appreciates of my never-ending quest to discover as lots of very good Central Pennsylvania Italian dining places as achievable.
And so, on a recent Lancaster County jaunt with mates, I frequented Ciro’s, just northeast of Lancaster Town around East Petersburg.
It’s a informal, quaint, household-owned, neighborhood-design eatery. It’s found on a corner in a prepared, small-town-like progress with retailers, other dining places and a number of forms of housing.
I’d listened to about the place for decades. Its web page guarantees award-successful Italian foodstuff and company in a trendy, inviting atmosphere. I wished to test it. In my encounter, it mostly retains its guarantee.
There is an beautiful bar within the entryway. There are tables and booths through, as perfectly as some outdoor seating.
Décor is up to date, with fall lights. Nevertheless the booth we ended up assigned was in a kind of side hallway. Some might say cozy, some others may possibly experience a tad cramped, isolated and everyday. The area is far more diner-like than bistro.
This was on a weeknight, and the spot was crowded, chaotic and noisy, and, seemingly, like so many dining places these times, understaffed. So, service was a little bit curt and sluggish.
The menu, I’m reliably informed, is smaller sized than in pre-pandemic days. But it available extra than sufficient to pick from. And none in my celebration located argument with variety, presentation or high quality.
We initial have been greeted with a basket of amazing, warm and comfortable rosemary bread, together with excellent peppered olive oil.
Future arrived an order of fried calamari with lemon, spicy aioli and marinara sauces ($12) for the table to share. Fried is not my calamari choice, but it tasted excellent and went perfectly with cocktails.
Other appetizers contain fried mozzarella slices with home made sauce ($8), rolled eggplant with Pecorino Romano, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses in sauce and melted cheese ($9), and an antipasto of prosciutto, artichoke hearts, roasted purple peppers, olives, Fontina and provolone cheese, served with two crostini ($12).
I selected the latter and was willing to share but ended up devouring it all. It was quite good, especially the thin-sliced prosciutto.
Ciro’s offers a wide variety of salads, in total and fifty percent measurements, ranging in value from $4.50 to $6.50 for a 50 percent, to $9 to $12 for complete.
They include things like a household salad a Caesar with selfmade dressing a caprese with sliced tomato, mozzarella, purple pepper coulis a Tuscan produced with candied walnuts and goat cheese and a grilled romaine and pancetta salad that was a big strike in my booth.
Additional eating places should present complete- and 50 percent-sized salads, if for no other rationale than to stay away from the ubiquitous question, “How massive is the salad, is it huge ample to share?” I also favor fifty percent-orders of pasta.
Speaking of pasta, Ciro’s menu in the course of my check out experienced pasta entrees ranging from $13 for spaghetti with marinara to $24 for significant cheese ravioli with sauteed shrimp. There also was pan-seared salmon served with Parmesan risotto for $28.
Other pastas included penne with cauliflower, penne with grilled chicken, capellini with shrimp, a cheese and beef lasagna, fettucine Alfredo, an entrée-sized rolled eggplant with capellini, and spaghetti Bolognese.
Our table delighted in servings of these past two dishes, primarily the Bolognese, which was superb. It on your own was worth the go to.
There also are classics this sort of as chicken marsala, chicken Parmesan and hen picatta, as perfectly as a variety of 10-inch pizzas, moreover calzone, paninis and Stromboli.
Ciro’s, of class, is family welcoming. The kids’ menu involves cheese ravioli, chicken tenders, spaghetti and fettuccini Alfredo.
There are great, and changing, gelato flavors sold by the quart ($17.50), as perfectly as desserts such as tiramisu, lemon cake, and strawberry cake in period.
If you are on the road in Lancaster County as a tourist, a visitor or resident, Ciro’s can make a nice, straightforward prevent for a casual Italian meal.
I suggest it for a really good cause. The sauce is for real. And the Bolognese proves it.
CIRO’S ITALIAN BISTRO
605 Richmond Dr., Lancaster
Open up for lunch and meal Tuesday via Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday midday to 8 p.m.
Whole bar takes playing cards street parking reservations prompt