Pop in and say "ciao" to Cielo Italiano

HOMELY: Cielo Italiano restaurant manager Josh Watt and head chef Albert Berisha. Picture: Simone De Peak
HOMELY: Cielo Italiano restaurant manager Josh Watt and head chef Albert Berisha. Picture: Simone De Peak

In Italy food is more than just a meal. It brings families together and is part of the country’s culture.

You don’t need to be Italian, though, to appreciate it. Walk into any traditional Italian restaurant with red gingham tablecloths and breathe in the rich aroma of tomatoes and garlic and the feeling is one of familiarity and a warm welcome.

It’s like walking into someone’s kitchen and being offered a seat at the table as they cook and chat.

Cielo Italiano is a fresh addition to the Honeysuckle dining strip and a comfortable balance of modern and traditional Italian. Red geranium baskets hang from the ceiling and black and white art mixed with a splash of Italian pop culture decorate the walls.

“It was very important that every finer detail was right – from sourcing antique Italian-style lamps, old gold mirrors, pendant lighting and table décor to our staff uniforms,” restaurant manager Josh Watt said.

“The scent of an Italian kitchen, the garlic bread baking, the friendly atmosphere and the Italian music playing in the background aim to make the Cielo experience a satisfying one. Cielo is perfect for a group long lunch, a family get together or date night, with the candlelit tables offering that romantic touch.” 

The menu has a wide range of rustic Italian dishes including seafood, pasta, chicken and veal plus a selection of share plates, hearty Italian salads and desserts. Head chef Albert Berisha is passionate about his food and likes to chat to diners about the menu. He has previously worked at Carrington Place, the Newcastle Club, Terrance Conrans’ Floridita in Soho and Zizzi. 

“Two of our most popular dishes are the linguini al gamberi, a dish with sautéed king prawns, fresh chilli and garlic, extra virgin olive oil, Italian white wine and spring onions tossed with linguini,” Watt said.

“Another is our veal saltimbocca with pan-fried veal escallopes and Italian-style pancetta topped with mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano and Italian white wine cream and served with gratin potatoes.

“We also offer an Italian sharing feast, aptly named The Italian Job, for four or more guests which is an indulgent Italian feast experience you would expect at Nonna’s house.”

Cielo Italiano is at 150 Wharf Road, Newcastle. Keep an eye out on social media for their weekly specials.