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Dining Out: Old School Italian

Rick Gary for Strong Coffee to Red Wine

We went to Ciro & Sal’s after a guest at Somerset House Inn said that it was fantastic.

We went to Ciro & Sal’s after a guest at Somerset House Inn said that it was fantastic. Because it rained that evening, they had several reservations cancel, and we should be able to get a table. It was only a few blocks down the street so we would not get too wet.


Keep walking down the alley to the flag. Then into the garden courtyard, through the door, down some stairs, then into the cellar or up the stairs to the second floor.

It remains in its original location established in the wine cellar of a large house towards the end of Kiley Alley. The room is pretty dark with low hanging original wood beams holding up the house that requires their taller guests to have to duck. The walls are brick with dugouts where wine used was stored; now filled with straw basket-clad Chianti bottles filling every nook and cranny. What dim lighting exists is shaded by old kitchen graters that throw tiny bits of light out in every direction.

If you do not like that cave-like feeling, there is also a dining room and bar on the second floor. It has mirrored walls and a soaring ceiling with large windows overlooking the surrounding gardens.

What is the Secret?

Our server Shelby greeted us, and of course, we talked her up to get the scoop on this place. Probably the coolest thing we learned is that the current owner, Larry Luster stated working there when he was 14 years old as a dishwasher. Through the years he worked his way throughout the kitchen ultimately becoming the chef. When it was time for Ciro to retire there was only one person that he entrusted with his legacy and that was Larry. With the original recipes ingrained into his soul becoming the owner was an obvious choice. Today with his son as the chef, Larry continues the job of quality control making sure that the Italian heritage of the restaurant remains as it has for the past 67 years.

Our Dining Experience

We began our experience with a bottle ‘Santa Cristina’ Toscana Sangiovese Blend 2015. (60% Sangiovese, 40% combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah). This is a house wine and is very easy to drink with red fruit aromas and flavors. It is smooth with gentle tannins and moderate cleansing acidity.

We then chose our appetizer. I had Ostriche alla Giannini – Wellfleet oysters on the half shell baked with pesto, bread crumbs, and Parmigiana cheese. Think Clams Casino only oysters.  Super good. They do not look as big as they were. They were perfectly cooked. I loved them. Gary ordered an appetizer portion of the pasta special, Fresh Lobster Ravioli – One ounce of fresh lobster per pillow covered in lobster cream sauce. I think I saw a tear run down Gary’s cheek as he took his first bite. Our table got very quiet.

Oops, I took a bite before I made the shot.

For our entreés, you guessed it.

I ordered the Pollo alla Parmigiana – chicken cutlet breaded and baked with sugo (means sauce or gravy) served with pasta. The cutlet was still sizzling when it arrived at the table. The cheese may have lacked a lot of caramelization but had flavor in spades. The sauce is as I would hope. It tasted like that Italian grandpa would make. I apologize even more so regarding this picture. I was so excited that I immediately started eating; then took the picture. Gary chose theBurro e Formaggio – pasta tossed with butter, parsley, basil, garlic, EVOO, and Parmigiana cheese. It was simple and light after those super filling and rich lobster ravioli. He too started eating before the picture. He said it was everything he had hoped.

Restaurant Review

This meal was everything and more that I love from an old-school Italian Restaurant. As we left the restaurant that night, Larry’s son, the chef was standing outside. We told him how much we enjoyed our dinner. As we continued on we told him that we will see him again next year.

Ciro & Sal’s opens at 5:30 pm daily and one of the few restaurants open all year around in Provincetown. The address is 4 Kiley Court (just off of Commercial St., Provincetown, MA.

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