HottyToddy.com ventured over to Ciao Chow in New Albany for a little taste of Italy in the quaint Southern town.
The owners, Mike Carroll and Tim Satterfield, welcomed us into their bustling restaurant to taste their Sicilian influenced cuisine that left us stuffed and happy by the time we left!
Mike and Tim live in Ashland, Mississippi, and own and operate their restaurant Thursday through Saturday each week. Their menu is influenced by Tim’s Sicilian heritage, and new items and recipes are added with each annual trip the two owners take to Rome.
They first opened Ciao Chow in Ashland, but after being recruited to New Albany, the new location opened five years ago.
“We were courted by many surrounding towns to open Ciao Chow, but because of the environment and incredible location, we chose New Albany at the trailhead of the Tanglefoot Trail,” Carroll said.
The inside of the restaurant had a nice change of atmosphere from what we are accustomed to in Oxford. Perhaps one of the most unique features was Ciao Chow’s ceiling fans.
The fans were a gift of New Albany resident Joel Bennett. Bennett was the first person to visit Ciao Chow in Ashland, encouraging the owners to relocate in New Albany.
Bennett built his collection of antiques while living several years in Las Vegas. The fans hung in the poker room of the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. The Sands was frequented by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. Other visitors to the hotel included the other ‘Rat Pack’ members and their gang of celebrity and political friends who would have sat under the fans.
The entire restaurant has pieces of Italy, including this mural below, only one of a few in Ciao Chow of an Italian countryside landscape.
We started our meal by trying Ciao Chow’s crab cakes. These were the best we had ever had in the South! The soft crab fell apart in your mouth and left a really great savory taste. Ciao Chow’s sauce on the side was the perfect pairing.
Next, we ordered the classic spaghetti and house-made meatballs and the three cheese tortellini with crabmeat tossed in spice parmesan cream sauce.
The spaghetti and house-made meatballs with shaved parmesan on top was delicious, their marinara wasn’t overbearing or too heavy. It had a light blend with the meatballs having just the right amount of spice and flavor, which we enjoyed thoroughly!
The three-cheese tortellini with crabmeat tossed in spice parmesan cream sauce was just as amazing. The cream sauce was the same perfect consistency as the marinara, and it was also spot on with great flavor. The added spice and fresh crab meat was incredible!
To finish our already unbelievable meal, we tried two desserts. The first was Ciao Chow’s favorite – a slice of their chocolate icing, ice cream cake. The warmth of the cake and chocolate icing with the crisp vanilla ice cream left us eating almost all of it!
We also tried the Italian staple: Ciao Chow Tiramisu. One word- AMAZING!
Ciao Chow is open from Thursday through Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m. Their menu can be found here.
Ciao Chow owner, Tim, is their head chef. Our service was super fast, and the staff was very welcoming and friendly!
A big thank you to Mike Carroll and Tim Satterfield for having us at Ciao Chow! It was a quick drive from Oxford, and we had the best time trying something new!
Meggie Carter is the Vice President of Sales for New Media Lab. She can be reached at email@example.com