Bringing a Fresh Taste of Southern Italy to Eagle
Story By Erika Heeren
Photos By Kimberlee Miller
The latest craveable restaurant is now open in Eagle. From the owners of local favorite, Rembrandts, comes a new take on Italian faire at CACi Wood-Fire Sicilian Grill.
CACi (pronounced KAW-chee) isn’t your average Italian restaurant. While choosing an Italian restaurant may conjure ideas of traditionally heavier dishes, CACi offers a wide selection of freshly-made lighter options. Principal owners CJ Cacioppo and Dale Willman, along with other local investors, wanted to take their guests on a culinary adventure around the robust and diverse world of southern Italy and beyond.
“We are really focused on the cuisine of southern Italy and Sicily, it’s very cross-cultural. Sicily is a melting pot of different cultures from around the Mediterranean,” Willman explained.
The menu at CACi is full of Italian-style favorites and some new offerings to excite any palate. You won’t find processed or canned ingredients in their kitchen; but you will find the fire-kissed deliciousness of grilled meats and vegetables for flavorful sauces, handmade pastas, and pizza dough made fresh in-house.
Cacioppo and Willman are no strangers to the restaurant scene in the Treasure Valley. Three years ago, the two purchased Rembrandts, a successful coffeehouse turned breakfast and lunch destination for the Eagle community. Cacioppo has more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, and brings that experience to create a diverse menu to keep CACi patrons coming back for more.
“We have a great deal of appreciation for the local community who have supported us and keep coming back. They’ve become like family to us. It’s truly a blessing to have people walk through that door and to have the opportunity to create those relationships,” says Cacioppo.
Inside CACi, you’ll find a bright, old-world ambiance – perfect for a casual lunch, a romantic dinner, or just a gathering with friends. For those looking forward to spring and summer, the eatery offers a patio for al fresco dining and a lounge area around the fire pits.
While the restaurant is new to Eagle, there are already a few standout fan favorites on the menu like the mouthwatering short-rib bolognese, wood-fire pizzas, and scallops. Stop in and enjoy the Sicilian polpette – grilled meatballs with house-made ricotta and “nonna” sauce (a freshly prepared light tomato/marinara sauce). Pasta fans won’t be disappointed, the diverse menu offers a wide selection in that area. Try Arancini (risotto) with parsley sauce, fontina cheese, and nonna sauce. Alternatively, you can try the Cacio Pepe, a spaghetti dish with olive oil, parmesan, and fresh pepper. Traditionalists can always enjoy hearty fresh spaghetti with meatballs and nonna sauce. If you’re feeling adventurous, the grilled polpo – or octopus – served with sun choke, mustard greens, pickled shallot and parsley sauce may suit your fancy.
When it comes to the future of CACi and Rembrandts, Willman and Cacioppo have two main goals: “We want to present the best food possible for the community, and to provide the best customer service,” Willman explained. “We strive for continuous improvement – finding what can we do to improve the service, what can we do to improve the food, and how can we best meet the needs of our customers.”
Located at 1592 E. Riverside Drive in Eagle, CACi encourages reservations for dinner with walk-ins welcome. The also offer lunch on an open seating basis.
Learn more about the restaurant on their website: www.cacigrill.com.