With plenty of pasta, seafood, and braised meats, you can tell they like to keep to the traditional Italian ways here at Ciao Amici’s in Brighton.
“There’ve been plenty of times I’ve walked into other Italian restaurants and it is more modern, and it’s like, ‘where’s the marsala? Where the’s piccata?’... So that’s why we decided to keep it, because you can always add special to your menu,” explains Tony Vulaj, one of the partners at Ciao Amici’s .
The design of the restaurant, which first opened its doors in 1999, follows that same classic theme. The tables are covered with white tablecloths, cloth napkins, and softly flickering candles. On the wall you will spot traditional Tuscan-style murals that have been there since the place first opened. As Vulaj puts it, the place has that “old-school” Italian feel.
Ciao Amicis translates to “hello friends” making it the perfect place to gather.
“The best thing about owning a restaurant is the customers,” says Vulaj. “You get to meet a lot of people, and they become your family.”
According to Vulaj, he has seen the same families celebrate a baptism here, graduations, and eventually wedding showers. With Brighton being situated in between Detroit and Lansing, and Flint and Ann Arbor, it makes it a popular meeting spot.
Michelle Oliver and her family have dined here a lot over the years. Hence why when Michelle asked her mom where she would like to feature for the “Live in the D” special Mother’s Day Takeover, she picked Ciao Amicis.
“We go out to eat a lot,” explains Annette Oliver. “When we want to celebrate we come to this restaurant and do a little more celebration. There’s very few dishes I’ve had here that I didn’t like.”
Besides all the classics like Chicken Piccata, Marsala, and Parmesan, you can also find new inventive dishes like their Chicken Diablo which is served in a spicy white wine sauce. One of Annette’s favorite meals is Chicken con Pollo, a penne pasta dish with a creamy asiago cheese sauce, crispy bacon, spinach, chicken, and a dollop of tomato relish to add a bit of zest. For seafood lovers, try their Davinci Pasta with a creamy tomato sauce, angel hair pasta, fresh scallops, mussels, and shrimp.
For a longer look at the menu, watch the video above.
Ciao Amici’s is located at 217 W Main Street in downtown Brighton.