My brother L was taking us out for dinner and he made me choose a restaurant that was reasonable in price. I thought of Cibo because of the small plate sharing concept and the menu looked pretty good, so we came here this past Sunday night. Situated on the busy 17th Ave, we were happy to find parking space just right along the street. Cibo has two floors – with the bottom being more of a bar while upstairs seems to be the more “formal” dining area. We had an early 5pm reservation and since we were a group of 7, we were seated upstairs. When we arrived the restaurant was still relatively empty but as we left it was near packed.
I don’t know if I should call this an Italian restaurant but it’s definitely Italian style… with their own twist? I have to say a lot of the dishes was topped with cheese but that’s ok – we love cheese! The food was really good and prices are ok with one exception, which I will explain as I review the food below.
Random shot with my new camera
Our server gave relatively good service with a few minor kinks. For example, wine glasses we not removed from our table until over half way through our dinner and we did not order any wine. Also, even though he’s not assuming his customers are idiots, he never explained what any of the scodellina, sorbetto or gelato was. I mean yes of course we can taste it and figure it out on our own, but I’ve always had the server at other restaurants go through each dish as it’s set down. But he was very friendly and made small talk with us here and there!
Here’s what we ordered tonight:
Scodellina x 3 – $11
1 for $4, 3 for $11 or 5 for $18. We weren’t sure what to expect from these so we only ordered three to try.
This was the best of the three and it was very flavorful and creamy. The goat cheese certainly enhanced the flavors further more.
Not your traditional bruschetta made with tomatoes – the main ingredient here was artichoke with just a few chunks of tomatoes. It was light and I see it more as an artichoke salad.
Tuscan Chicken Liver
I certainly didn’t taste any pancetta in here – I actually tasted more anchovy than liver! I thought I would enjoy this but the anchovy flavor was just too dominant.
Crostini – $1/order
Three of these were served with our scodellina but it was not enough, so we ordered two more, but at the end we were charged for four. These were most likely made in house and was very tasty.
Lamb Meatballs – $9
Meaty lamb meatballs in a tomato sauce topped with basil, raddichio and pecorino. The tomato sauce was tangy but not overpowering so you could actually taste the meat quite well. There was no gamey taste to the lamb and the meat was quite tender.
Grilled Fresh Scallops – $4.50/ea
Fresh scallops served on a bed of arugula. These were a large size and I’m happy that the restaurant didn’t cheap out and used smaller scallops. They were grilled very nicely and cooked just right. I believe these were just very simply seasoned with salt and ground pepper?
Tagliatelle – $18
The pasta tasted like it was made fresh in house. It was very fresh and topped with a good amount of bolognese. This was enjoyed by all of us.
Rotisserie SCR Beef Striploin – $47
Nope, I didn’t type the price wrong. There were approximately seven thin (~ 5mm) slices of steak. I thought our server might’ve made a mistake and ordered the smaller portion for us, so I flagged him down and asked him which size he ordered. For some reason he took that as we had a problem with the order, so moments later a lady came by, who I assumed was a manager (she never introduced herself) and asked what our concern was. I was actually a little taken back but ok, and asked her if we were ordered a wrong size b/c when I asked our server how big of a portion the share steak was, he said it was enough for three people. I’m sorry, but look at the picture above – that’s not even enough for one person. That’s all the meat you see and there was none hiding under the arugula. The manager said that there was supposed to be 14 ounces of steak in the shared size. I don’t care how you slice it – there was NOT 14 ounces of meat on that plate. Half of that maybe. I’ve cooked and ate enough 14 ounce steaks before and there is just no way this was 14 ounces. So she checked with the kitchen and said that this was definitely the share portion… ok, well we did order it so whatever. We just wanted to get an understanding. She said since we were not happy it would be discounted, but we told them not to worry about it because that’s what we ordered, and if that’s what it is… it is what it is. I just couldn’t believe that was $47 – and I thought steak at Ruth’s Chris was expensive. In the end the charge was removed off our bill which was unexpected. I was just hoping they accidentally ordered us the smaller portion and it would make more sense to pay $22 for it. I appreciated them taking it off the bill and we just ended up leaving a larger tip. Taste wise it was decent but not memorable.
Roasted Arctic Char for Two – $39
The Char was perfectly done and had that hint of sweetness from the blood orange. The fish was buttery and soft and was a good portion for my brother and I to share. The beets were sweet and was cooked to the right doneness. I would definitely get this again.
Spicy Sundried Tomato Oil
This came right before our pizzas arrived. I wasn’t expecting it to be spicy but it was tasty. Actually I should say, the tomato mixture was spicy – the oil was tolerable. I dipped my crust into the oil instead.
Wild Boar Bacon Pizza – $18
Cibo makes a really nice thin and chewy pizza crust. This one is covered with a decent amount of meats. Great flavor, but it was a tad oily.
Mushroom Pizza – $17
I loved this pizza more than the other one. The simple taste of just mushrooms, cheese and truffle oil was just such a good combination! I would definitely come back for this. Our server told us that during their happy hour a selection of their pizzas are only $5. Must. Return.
White Chocolate and Goat Cheese Panna Cotta – $7
Panna Cotta has a special place in my heart. My friend K makes a kick ass one and although I’m sure she has given me the recipe ages ago, I just never got around to making it. This one was really good and I really enjoyed eating it with the candied pecans. On the other hand I did not like the sour cherry compote at all so I scooped it all off.
Gelato – $7
I don’t know what these flavors are. The one in the back might’ve been straciatella and the one in the front was definitely a very heavy milk flavor. I’m not sure if these were made in house but it was very tasty.
Ricotta Fritella – $7
I had wanted this but I of course wanted the panna cotta more, so I chose this for hubby. Unfortunately he didn’t quite enjoy the concept of it. Yes… dip and eat but I guess that wasn’t his idea of a dessert. I did try one of the fritters and it was like a very sweet and dense donut. Very tasty. The lemon curd had to be my favorite – it was very tart and not sweet at all – tasted like it was made in house. The raspberry was also good but I liked the lemon curd more.
Sorbetto – $7
My brother and his gf shared this and they said it was all good. The flavors were pear, orange and raspberry (as per them).
Overall I would say we had a good dinner. Food was pretty tasty and there are things that I would come back and eat again. Although I mentioned that I didn’t expect for our steak to be discounted, I was actually glad that it did b/c I was not happy paying for it, even though I would’ve no matter what b/c I wasn’t asking for a discount to begin with. I’m glad they care that much about customer’s concerns and for that I would return to Cibo again. Our total bill wasn’t too bad for 6 adults and 1 toddler and the whole atmosphere was pretty relaxing. Some diners on Urbanspoon mentioned that their food came out really fast but I thought our food came out at a good pace.