New own­ers for Ci­ola’s prom­ise food will stay the same

Austin American-Statesman - - FOOD & LIFE - — Mike Sut­ter

Af­ter al­most a decade of red sauce, lasagna and Big Nights, Dan Ci­ola has sold Ci­ola’s Ital­ian-Amer­i­can Res­tau­rant in Lakeway. New owner Dave Staab makes no bones about what cus­tomers can ex­pect: “The only change is go­ing to be that when they walk through the door, they’re go­ing to see some­body a lot taller.”

Staab has spent a life­time in and around restau­rants, from child­hood when his par­ents ran them to his ca­reer as a food-com­pany ex­ec­u­tive to hav­ing his own bar and grill in his na­tive Kansas. But when the search for a new place brought him to Austin, where his son lives, Staab said the num­bers, the food and cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion pointed to Ci­ola’s (1310 RM 620 S. 263-9936, www.ci­o­las. com). Ci­ola said he’s sell­ing be­cause his job as a bond trader and other obli­ga­tions are keep­ing him away from the res­tau­rant.

“I’m just hand­ing off the ba­ton to some­body who’s not go­ing to drop my baby on its head,” he said. “This guy’s right.”

Chef Louis Ci­ola, who is Dan Ci­ola’s nephew, will be stay­ing on at Ci­ola’s through the next Big Night din­ner (named for the film about an Ital­ian res­tau­rant) in Oc­to­ber with col­league Gor­don Johns. Dan Ci­ola’s son, Tony, owns a coal-fired pizza shop called Tony C’s at the Hill Coun­try Gal­le­ria.

Staab ac­knowl­edges that the place will change with­out the Ci­o­las, cos­metic things, but he said the recipes of pa­tri­arch Dominick Ci­ola will stay the same. “The food will be as out­stand­ing as it’s al­ways been.”

James Brosher amer­i­can-states­man

Dave Staab grew up in his fam­ily’s res­tau­rant busi­ness and says Ci­ola’s food will stay the same.

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