Ciao Italia Ristorante coming to Durham

“The passion that you see on Mary Ann Esposito’s long-running television cooking show “Ciao Italia,” or have read about in her cookbooks now has a home – one she’s hoping will make you feel at home, too.

Ciao Italia Ristorante will open at 56 Main St. later this fall. Located at the corner of Main Street and Jenkins Court, the building was the location of the former Red Carpet Flower Shop and The Knot restaurant.

While the new restaurant will capture Esposito’s vision of serving authentic regional Italian cuisine, she is a collaborator on the project. The restaurant is owned by Doug Clark of Clark’s Restaurant’s LLC, which he owns with his wife, Kimberly. Clark is in the process of buying the building and renovating it extensively to create a 100-seat dining room, a market and new kitchen on the first floor, and a wine bar and event space downstairs.

“The food will be authentic and simple with a main focus on really fresh Italian ingredients. The menus will reflect recipes from the various regions of Italy and change seasonally,” Esposito, who lives in Durham and just finished filming her cooking show’s 29th season, said. “We want to introduce customers to regional Italian food way beyond pasta and red sauce.””

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patti russo

Just saw a rerun of Ciao Italia where Mary Ann made a salumi inglese. It brought back such wonderful memories of when I used to watch her cook and bake! I positively LOVED how she did all this without fancy gadgets-a hand mixer, a sifter, a towel and a bowl! Imagine! Mary Ann, youwere the first, before Nick, before Lidia, there was you. I am going to request my local pbs station to air your shows.
Grazie mille,
Patti Russo

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