Make us your home page
Instagram

Ciccio Cali in Riverview to have grand opening March 22

RIVERVIEW — Ryan McGough knows all about what he calls "the dark side" of restaurants — chains.

McGough worked for a recognizable restaurant, one he would rather not name, for more than 10 years. Now he boasts about California fun and flavors by way of New York.

McGough and his Ciccio Restaurant Group partners found Winthrop Town Centre an ideal location for Ciccio Cali, an innovative, health-infused approach hoping to find a home among all the national chains dotting the Brandon area landscape.

Ciccio Cali enjoyed a soft opening March 6 and invites patrons to its grand opening Saturday (March 22) beginning at 10 a.m.

"We are trying hard to be part of the community," McGough said.

It's a formula the Ciccio team introduced in St. Petersburg 10 years ago and that goes back to 1990 in New York, where it opened as an Italian eatery. Ciccio partner Matthew Lanza said the name pays homage to his grandfather, Frank, a loose translation in Italian.

The Florida version of Ciccio features less Italian and more California fusion; hence the addition of the term Cali as the group opens its third restaurant in Florida and plans a fourth in Sarasota.

"We want to bring something new and unique to the area," said Lanza, 31.

Known for its $10 bowls, diners pick their base (rice, faro, noodles or spaghetti squash) and then their flavor. McGough says the hot and crunchy tuna bowl serves like a "deconstructed sushi roll." While chopsticks are provided, forks are not frowned upon.

Newbies, many of whom come for the vegan, gluten-free and high-protein options, can sample the various bowls on $2 Tuesdays, where smaller portions are served after 5 p.m. on flatbread. Mentioning that you're a first-time patron at Ciccio Cali comes with a freshly made cookie.

While bowls are the staple, wraps and stir fry options abound. Dairy- or gluten-free fare is clearly marked. Bring the little ones, too. The kids can order macaroni and cheese or quesadillas. Pets get a bowl of water when they sit on the patio.

"If you come for lunch, your made-to-order food will be at your table in under 10 minutes," said McGough, something he says chains aren't set up to be able to execute.

Ciccio Cali offers open seating for nearly 100 inside, including 14 barstools, tables and booths. The beer and wine bar has eight flavors on tap, including six craft beers, and 20 bottled beers. The daring can try the Maxmosa, a mimosa served in a hefty goblet complete with an upside-down champagne bottle.

Winthrop residents and fitness trainers receive a 10 percent discount, but if you are not into the healthier trends, you can opt for the chicken Marsala pasta or Tuscan pizza, fired in brick ovens straight from Italy.

"I think we are introducing a lot of food options here," said chef Ryan Mitchell, formerly of Fleming's.

The 3,000-square-foot restaurant, next to the Egg & I, at 11230 Sullivan St., has a casual feel during the day, a full-service dinner culture, and brunch on the weekend from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with live music on the 45-seat patio.

Five TVs, usually tuned to sports, are throughout the dining room and patio. The restaurant, which created more than 50 jobs, also offers catering.

The grand opening, which coincides with the Winthrop Arts Festival, is slated to include a bounce house, magician, stilt walker and live music.

Eric Vician can be reached at ericvician@yahoo.com.

Ciccio Cali in Riverview to have grand opening March 22 03/14/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 14, 2014 3:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Irma's death toll in Florida rises to 42, but will grow

    News

    TALLAHASSEE —Deadly carbon monoxide fumes have killed 11 people in Florida as Hurricane Irma's death toll rose to 42 on Tuesday, state officials reported.

    A resident walks by a pile of debris caused by a storm surge during Hurricane Irma in Everglades City. The isolated Everglades City community of about 400 people suffered some of Florida's worst storm surges, up to 9 feet (2.7 meters), when Hurricane Irma slammed the region eight days ago, leaving the insides of homes a sodden mess and caking the streets with mud. The storm affected nearly every part of the state, and, so far, the death toll stands at 42. [AP Photo | Alan Diaz]
  2. After Irma, Tampa Bay synagogues get ready for Rosh Hashana

    Religion

    As the holiest days of the Jewish calendar approached, so did Hurricane Irma.

    Congregants open the ark which holds several torah scrolls during Selichot services at Congregation B'nai Israel of St. Petersburg on Saturday, September 16, 2017. The Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana begins at sundown on Wednesday night.
  3. Toys 'R' Us files for bankruptcy but keeps stores open (w/video)

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Toys 'R' Us, the big box toy retailer struggling with $5 billion in debt and intense online competition, has filed for bankruptcy protection ahead of the key holiday shopping season — and says its stores will remain open for business as usual.

    Shoppers shop in a Toys R Us store on Black Friday in Miami in 2016. Toys R Us, the pioneering big box toy retailer, announced late Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while continuing with normal business operations. [Associated Press]
  4. Trigaux: Waiting for your next pay raise? Keep dreaming, employers hint

    Working Life

    The economy's bouncing back. The stock market keeps hitting new records. And the jobless rate in Florida may soon drop below 4 percent. Surely, these are robust indicators — key signs that an annual raise is just around the corner. Right?

    Who doesn't want a pay raise? Demonstrators have rallied for years in a number of states for a $15 minimum wage. But many workers across a broad pay range are unlikely to see much if any raises this year, a new survey says. [AP Photo/Seth Wenig]
  5. Florida Guard scales down troop strength; Navy sails away from the Keys

    State Roundup

    The Florida National Guard on Monday drew down its activated statewide forces to about 1,200 on-duty troops, mostly in operations focused on relief distribution in the Florida Keys — and the last of a mini-armada of U.S. Navy ships off Key West set sail for home.

    Soldiers from the Florida National Guard's Delta Company, 1st Battallion, 124th Infantry, 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team on Sept. 14. The Federal Emergency Managment Agency has reported that 25-percent of all homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed and 65-percent sustained major damage when they took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma.  [Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images]