Cibo Bistro was the chosen restaurant for an appreciation lunch scheduled two weeks ago. I had recommended it based partly on its central location and attached parking, but also because I had heard their lunch menu was worth trying. Cibo was new to everyone in our group.
Cibo Bistro is located in the former Tesoro storefront in Oliver square. Similar to its predecessor, the space was pleasant, but felt far from warm, something especially evident on that dreary day. The walls looked bleak and grey, and the high ceiling seemed more imposing than grand. Our large group was actually seated in the only bright spot in the dining room – a raised, semi-enclosed area lit by an incandescent fixture. That said, it was quite busy on a random Tuesday, so I’d imagine the food to be the ultimate draw.
I loved their mobile menu – instead of individual folders, a chalkboard and easel was set up by our table. It speaks to the flexibility of the kitchen and a desire to keep things fresh for regulars. Though the menu was short, the half dozen soup, sandwich, pizza and pasta options were interesting enough to capture the appetites in our group. All full entrees were also priced at $10, a nice round number easy to digest.
Service was steady and consistent, and the servers made sure we were well taken care of throughout our meal. Our food also arrived in good time, and all plates for our party of six were hot. Several of us had ordered the meatball sandwich with tomato basil jam, arugula and prosciutto. It was a bit small for my liking, but I have to say that I thought it was ingenious that the meatballs were halved to make it easier to eat! I enjoyed the springy bread, and the meatballs were moist with enough fat for flavour. The side of roasted red pepper soup was on the sweet side, but I liked the consistency.
The pizza frita with prosciutto, fig, mint and arugula was also very well received, but the bucatini with white wine, asparagus, garlic and tomato was less so, with my colleague commenting that it was very greasy.
Pizza frita with prosciutto, fig, mint and arugula
Bucatini with white wine, asparagus, garlic and tomato
We decided to split a dessert, and on the server’s recommendation, ordered the chocolate trio ($13). It really was a work of art, between the Frangelico and milk chocolate mousse served in the jar, white chocolate gelato topped with hazelnut brittle, and the slice of dark chocolate tart. But I was glad we ended up sharing it six ways, because it would have been much too decadent for one person alone. Though each dessert could have stood on its own, the star of this plate was no doubt the silky smooth chocolate tart.
Based on this experience, I wouldn’t hesitate to return again for lunch, though mostly, it makes me want to try out their dinner menu. Until next time!
11244 – 104 Avenue