The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Local Italian restaurant offers good specials

    Chris Kemp

    I have to open with a caveat: I’m writing this article at my laptop with leftovers in my lap. After eating at Cicione’s Italian Eatery a few hours ago, I revisit the pasta I abandoned in a small, white Styrofoam box, and savor the last few bites as I ponder what to write to my faithful readers about this Italian establishment. Now uncomfortably full, I reflect on the 20-percent discount I received on my meal (see the specials section to see how!) and decide that overall, Cicione’s was a good dinner choice for tonight.

    Location: 120 N. Clairemont Ave., at the intersection of Menomonie and Clairemont. It is closed on Sundays but it’s open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; and noon to 10 p.m Saturdays.

    Atmosphere: It was very Italian-looking. While this should not come as too big of a surprise to those of you who noticed the name of the restaurant, I was impressed with the detail it included: pictures of Venice and Rome, a trellis with (fake) grapevine hanging down, windows with planters and flowers, and a picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the menu. It was all very authentic and made our dining experience a little bit better.

    Service: I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve gone to Cicione’s twice in about four days. The first time, we weren’t all too impressed with the service, but it was a busy Friday lunch hour, so we were forgiving. The second time I went for dinner and our server was excellent. They bring fresh bread and some amazing garlic herb butter before the meal, and give you more if you eat it all. I would suggest eating it all.

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    Food: The food’s quality is excellent. Cicione’s’ menu offers hot sandwiches, homemade soup, pizza and a vast selection of pasta entr‚es. The first time I ate at Cicione’s I had the ravioli and spaghetti sampler with spicy marinara sauce. I loved the spicy sauce, so when I went back a few days later, I made sure to get an entr‚e with the same sauce. It offers menu items with cajun cream sauce, which my friend ordered and said was good, but very hot. There is also alfredo sauce, tomato sauce and a mixture of the two that the restaurant calls Blush sauce. It has nine-inch pizzas, and offers them in cheese, chicken alfredo, vegetarian, cajun and philly steak varieties.

    The quantity of food Cicione’s provides is also quite impressive. It gives you a ton of food – you’ll definitely have leftovers! Cicione employee Allison Haugen claims the most popular menu item is the philly steak sandwich, which surprised me since I thought the pasta was so good. She said her favorite pasta dish on the menu is the sundried tomato pasta.

    Prices: Cicione’s is less expensive than Olive Garden, but not by much. Appetizers range from $3 to $6, and sandwiches are between $4.50 and $8.25 (and come in small and large sizes). Pasta meals are priced less at lunchtime – between $6.50 and $10.95. At dinnertime, they run between $8.95 and $14.50, but they come with a choice of soup or salad. Pizzas are between $6.95 and $7.95. Wine is $3.50 a glass, and even though there is beer, I’m not even going to mention it because if you’re going to drink, you have to drink wine at an Italian restaurant.

    Specials: Everyday, Cicione’s offers a different special. Monday is spaghetti, Tuesday is the ravioli and spaghetti combo, Wednesday is ravioli, Thursday is fettuccini alfredo and Friday is cajun pasta (but for lunch only). These specials are between $4.95 and $6.95 for lunch and between $6.95 and $7.50 for dinner. Also (this is a very important point), UW-Eau Claire students receive a 20-percent discount on their meals with their Blugold card. So the more you spend, the more you save!

    Although it was a little more expensive than I thought it would be, and even though the leftovers I just finished have made my stomach feel like an overstuffed pillow, I liked Cicione’s very much. The food is ample and appetizing, as a student you get a discount on your meal and the atmosphere is conducive to long talks with good friends.

    Duwell is a senior English major and a columnist for The Spectator. Beyond Ramen is a restaurant review that occasionally appears in the Showcase section.

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    Local Italian restaurant offers good specials