Overall - 9/10
Food - 9/10
Service - 9/10
Ambiance - 9/10
Cibo (which the restaurant window helpfully points out is pronounced "chee-boh") is an unpretentious, trendy locale that serves contemporary Italian dishes. The fresh ingredients and balanced flavours are a refreshing change from the heavy, starchy pasta dishes commonly found in many other Italian restaurants around town. Cibo encourages family style dining, offering communal sized portions for most items on their menu.
We started our meal with the Scodellina which refers to the small bowls these appetizers are served in. You can mix and match from a list of 10 options, 1 dish for $4, 3 for $11 and 5 for $18. We chose the marinated mushrooms, Tuscan chicken liver, and country pork terrine. The liver was the best of the three and was packed with flavour and had just the right amount of texture to spread over toasted bread. The mushrooms and terrine were both a bit on the bland side and in retrospect we wish we had went with the roasted eggplant and gorgonzola dolce instead.
Our main course was the group sized rotisserie beef striploin served with an arugula salad, grana padana cheese and finished with a balsamic vinegar drizzle. The beef was perfectly roasted to medium rare and was very tender. For $47, the portion was quite generous and could have easily served three.
There were a number of different pasta choices on the menu but once we saw the tagliatelle with braised ox tail, wild boar bacon and black olives we knew right away what to get. The pasta was fresh and perfectly cooked while the meaty sauce coated each noodle with the rich flavours of ox tail, bacon and grana padana cheese.
For dessert we chose the white chocolate and goat cheese panna cotta with a sour cherry compote, candied pecans and lemon oil. We thought the lemon oil would be too heavy when paired with the panna cotta, but the intense lemon flavour really brightened the dish without adding the acidity one would expect with lemon juice.
Overall, we had a great experience at Cibo and found that it hit the mark when it came to great food, at reasonable prices in a cool energetic atmosphere. We'll definitely be back.