The San Marzano tomatoes are imported from Italy and serve as the base for the tomato sauces on Chef Eduardo Rodrigues’ menu at Ciao Hound.
From the flatbreads and pasta to the parmigianas to the grilled mahi mahi puttanesca, the restaurant offers “very simple Italian cuisine,” said Rodrigues. “Simple products bring out the flavor.”
Having honed his craft as an executive chef in some of the most exclusive South Florida clubs like Williams Island and the Grand Bay Club, Rodrigues took advantage of the Hurricane Irma renovations to upgrade Ciao Hound’s menu.
“He has so much talent in so many cuisines,” said Ocean Properties Food and Beverage Manager Ryan McCurdy. “He is just great to work with.”
“We concentrate on the proteins,” Rodrigues says. “Like free range chickens. Our meatball recipe changed drastically – a mix of veal, pork and beef, fresh oregano and Romano cheese.”
His staff also prepares all the stocks used across the menu, including the smooth lobster sauce found on the lobster ravioli.
Ciao Hound, located at MM 84 in the Postcard Inn complex, took several feet of water on during last summer’s weather event that led the company to replace the roof, all the kitchen equipment, chairs, tables – just about everything below four feet.
The reopening of the restaurant about a month ago pairs classic Italian comfort foods and flavors of Tuscany with local ingredients, patio seating and an outdoor carpeted “retreat” for four-legged family members.
For the humans, Ciao Hound offers a full bar with Italian-inspired libations like the espresso martini or the Italian margarita featuring Sauza tequila with Galliano, Amaretto and triple sec.
The coolest part: when your server scratches their name on the butcher paper table covering as they drop off the olive oil and fresh bread.
Ciao Hound serves dinner daily from 5 to 10 p.m. and even later on Friday and Saturday. For more info, go to ciaohound84.com or call 305-664-5300.
The brick oven flatbread with cornini mushrooms roasted with thyme, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Topped with arugula tossed in balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil. “When you cook it all the love goes through the cheese and tomato sauce,” says Chef Rodrigues. ($14)
The prosciutto wrapped shrimp appetizer is served on a bed of fennel ragout consisting of sun-dried tomatoes with celery and onions – topped with fresh sage. ($14)
The house made zeppole has a firm fried donut texture. Dusted with powdered sugar and sprinkled with sliced almonds, they are served with a creamy ricotta lemon dip made with limoncello. ($12)
Linguini frutti di marre served with calamari, lobster, shrimp, fresh mussels and fresh middleneck clams simmered in house-made basil-tomato white wine broth. ($23)
Lobster ravioli is clearly one of the more popular dishes on the menu. Created with homemade lobster sauce. ($20)
“This is a fun place and we want our locals in here. Local’s discount is 15% off the check … period.” – Ryan McCurdy, F&B director