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Best Best Best Pizza in Vancouver - The Bibo

m
marett Mar 5, 2011 09:06 PM

This is like eating in Italy. Just went to a brand new restaurant - The Bibo Italian Restaurant at 1835 West 4th Avenue. I don't think I've ever had better pizza. Also had gnocchi with pesto. Light as air.
The pizza maker is from Sicily, told me he has been making pizza since he was 14. I have always found pizza to be barely adequate in Vancouver so I am thrilled to have found this.
This is my new favorite restaurant.

  1. j
    jimgillette May 7, 2011 10:44 AM

    The food was OK, but not worth the wait or attitude.
    "Pizza purists" will say that authentic italian pizza is supposed to be soggy in the middle.
    A little sog is ok, but when it's wet and doughy with little flavour, I find it hard to be inspired by the "realness".
    The terrible service, and mistakes with our orders seals the deal for me.
    My wife and I will NOT be going back to the Bibo.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jimgillette
      Sam Salmon Jul 13, 2011 10:00 AM

      Another stellar meal last night @ Bibo-with two out of towners in tow I bellied up to the bar and ordered a Calzone, a Salami somethingorother and a Sicilian-all outstanding examples of the genre.

      Service was friendly efficient & low key and the on screen movie both odd & entrancing-music not too loud which is important.

    2. flowbee Mar 21, 2011 06:39 PM

      Well, I'm a big fan of trying things for oneself, so I've got a res to check it out this Friday. I really enjoyed Nicli so I hope my experience here is at least as good.

      As for pasta, I'm wondering what people consider a "very small portion" in this age of Anton's etc.

      19 Replies
      1. re: flowbee
        LotusRapper Mar 21, 2011 07:00 PM

        Anton's, Anducci's and Roman Ristorante (Kingsway) are more anomalies than the norm as far as serving sizes go. It's pretty known that pasta dishes are not served on their own in Italy, and certainly not to the excessively large portions that some N. American establishments have come to adapt as the norm (or a gimmick).

        -----
        Roman Ristorante
        3399 Kingsway #106, Vancouver, BC V5R5K6, CA

        1. re: flowbee
          Pollo Mar 22, 2011 12:38 AM

          People ...no one was expecting 2 lb. of pasta per serving (I have been to Antons many times). Portions we got were small...period...if this was "children's menu" I would be fine. But puting the portion aside the point I was trying to make was/is that at this price point one expects more in terms of quality/flavor/presentation/execution (i.e overcooked pasta). What get's me is the pizza. If this was just a another Italian place doing "everything" then this would not be a problem but this place is suposed to be "the" pizza place in Vancouver. Based on my experience they don't have all their Ducks in order...place needs "work". I want to stress that I am not trying to be negative and I want them to do well. I will try them again in few weeks to see if things are improving....

          1. re: flowbee
            s
            selena03 Mar 22, 2011 09:07 AM

            I would say the size of the pasta dish is closer to what you would get in finer dining establishments in Vancouver or similar portion size to what you would get in Italy. For my mom and I the pasta and the pizza we shared filled us both up but had it been my husband and I we might have needed to order something in addition. I felt that the food was special and that is why I couldn't use the word "overpriced". It is more than just a pizza place. We enjoyed the pasta just as much, if not more. And they do have many other items on the menu other than pizza. I guess I just feel like I am willing to pay for it given that the last time I ate pasta and pizza like this in one restaurant was in Italy and eating it here is a heck of a lot cheaper than going all the way there:) In the end it's all personal preference though and when I dined at the Bibo we were the only ones there which could have made for an extra special meal but I hope that it wasn't an anomaly and will definitely post in a weeks time after we eat there again.

            1. re: selena03
              e
              eatrustic Mar 23, 2011 08:12 PM

              Finally made it in after a couple of false starts on my part. I like the room and the reception was immediate and friendly. One of the owners is newly arrived from Milan and he was very helpful with the menu descriptions and options.
              I grabbed a seat in front of the pizza station and ordered my standard pizza tester - The Margherita along with a nice Insalata made with radichio, arugula, tomatoes, mozzarella and guanciale (not on the menu from what I could see but all you have to do is ask -$10.).

              I came into this with modest hopes and got more excited as I watched the pizzaiolo at work as he definitely has game, handling the dough with classic ease down to the way he'd ring the pick-up bell with the end of his 3 foot pizza peel with the lightest tap!
              Pizzas were coming out at a sub 3 minute pace so the wood-fired oven was definitely up to snuff.

              Unfortunately, the pizza was just ok, The crust was thin and crispy for a couple of moments after the pizza arrived but the center got soggy pretty quickly and I personally would have preferred a bit more puff on the cornizone (rim). The overall taste was blander than I would thought but the addition of salt and pepper picked it up. The style reminds me of the pizzas I used to get at Lombardos on Commercial.

              So, not the "best best" I would have hoped for as it's mere blocks from where I live.
              I appreciate that once you factor in properly cooked without a soggy center that the definition of the perfect pizza is up for grabs since we all have our style preferences but this doesn't hit the mark in my book.
              I still have hopes for the pastas as the selection is tight and authentic looking - too bad they won't do half portions or I would have tried one.

               
              1. re: eatrustic
                f
                farman Mar 24, 2011 10:58 AM

                I got in for lunch with a friend of mine. We ordered a Margherita F1 and a Marinara (cheeseless w/ capers, onions, anchovies, black olives) to split. Unfortunately we appeared to have just got a normal Margherita instead of the F1 despite my friend clearly saying "Formula One".

                I agree with eatrustic's rating of OK. We found the Margherita to be a bit bland, and felt the sauce needed more seasoning. Also, the toppings didn't have a very even distribution, half of the pizza didn't have any basil. I'll have to go back and try to get a real Margherita F1 (upgraded tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella supposedly).

                We liked the marinara better, mainly because the anchovies added some saltiness. Again there was topping distribution issues, with about 70% of the olives on one side of the pizza, and about half the pieces we cut (split into sixths) without anchovies. That was another issue, cutting our own pizza was a bit annoying.

                I did like the taste of the crust, and did find it better than most. However, we too found it ended up being too soggy.

                The service was a bit lacking, especially with a lot of staff and not a lot of customers around. Nothing I can definitively point to (beyond messing up our order), but just not quite on.

                All of that being said, I enjoy it better than most pizza in town, and will go back. Compared to Nicli, I found it about even, with BiBo having better crust, Nicli having better sauce and service. My friend preferred Nook to BiBo, but it's been a while since I've been to Nook so I can't make comparisons there. I'm still eagerly anticipating Pizzeria Barbarella to open! Regardless, our pizza scene is looking up...

                1. re: farman
                  Quattrociocchi Mar 24, 2011 03:17 PM

                  Just came back from lunch at Bibo. I would have to concur with Farman - good crust, but soggy after about 5 minutes. My Margherita was quite delicious, but did not need the extra drizzle of olive oil on top - that just added to the overal moisture. I also tried the spicy salami pizza, and I would have to say that was my favorite - again, that extra burst of saltiness really added a lot. Overall, Nook is still my favorite, but it's such a hassle to get into on the weekends (they don't take reservations) that I may have to go back to Bibo for my pizza fix.

                  One interesting note - I wanted the others in my party to try their burrata appetizer ($18 for a couple of pieces, some arugula and four slices of tomato). When I asked our server if the burrata was fresh, she emphaticaly assured me it was. Moments later the owner came by to say that the burrata was not fresh and that he would prefer to serve us buffalo mozza. It was ok - definitely not as good as burrata.

                  -----
                  Bibo
                  8316 Main St, Osoyoos, BC V0H1V2, CA

                  1. re: Quattrociocchi
                    e
                    eatrustic Mar 24, 2011 08:41 PM

                    In a perfect world they could adjust their dough recipe and tweak the sauce since they have all the other elements in place for excellence.
                    For now I think I'll go for their pizza biancos to remove the soggy element and get a nice (hopefully) pasta with a salad.

                    1. re: eatrustic
                      Sam Salmon Mar 24, 2011 09:11 PM

                      The pizza bianca I saw being baked really looked delicious-I rarely order one though-just Old School I guess.

                      1. re: Sam Salmon
                        v
                        vandan Mar 25, 2011 03:44 PM

                        There is an article in todays. 24 hours about the place

                        1. re: vandan
                          Pollo Mar 26, 2011 01:02 PM

                          More "free" advertising and bit of a "spin" on the wet crust...
                          http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/Lifestyle/2...

                        2. re: Sam Salmon
                          grayelf Mar 25, 2011 05:20 PM

                          eatrustic and sam, please elaborate on pizza bianca at Bibo. I don't see it on the menu but they obviously have it. My (rudimentary) understanding is that they leave off the tomato sauce, but I've seen other definitions. What is it like here?

                          Going tomorrow night for bday week celebratory dindin and taking this thread with me -- so flowbee, if you have time to weigh in about your meal tonight, please do :-).

                          1. re: grayelf
                            Sam Salmon Mar 25, 2011 06:26 PM

                            Phone the restaurant and ask for Lorenzo (one of the owners) I'm sure he'd be Happy to fill you in.

                            1. re: grayelf
                              s
                              selena03 Mar 25, 2011 07:18 PM

                              the penne arrabiata was delicious-I highly recommend.

                              1. re: grayelf
                                flowbee Mar 25, 2011 08:11 PM

                                well, so far really busy and noisy...and they lost our reservation :/ hungry and need to wait :(

                                wait, this isn't facebook

                                1. re: flowbee
                                  flowbee Mar 25, 2011 09:05 PM

                                  well that sucked. we left after waiting 45 minutes for our non-existent table. sigh...walked to maenam and got seated quickly though :)

                                  1. re: flowbee
                                    grayelf Mar 26, 2011 07:35 AM

                                    Oh dear that is not good. Will have to phone today and ensure reso is on the books.

                                    1. re: grayelf
                                      e
                                      eatrustic Mar 26, 2011 07:29 PM

                                      Sorry greyelf I've been at work and didn''t see this 'till now. For the record though I believe they have a few white pizzas. If you check their menu you'll see they take pains to mention the ones that have tomato sauce and I saw at least three which did not list that ingredient.
                                      Seeing them come out of the oven is how I knew they had them as there is no heading of Pizza Bianco but walking home earlier I took another look at the menu and for 2 or 3 ingredients which are not lavishly spread on the pizza the price jumps from the gateway $12. Marghareta up to around $22. bucks!
                                      I personally prefer a sparsely dressed pizza but I also hope to pay a fair price for it.
                                      I would be happy with simple sea salt, fresh rosemary and a drizzle of some good olive oil for my Pizza Bianco followed by a pasta although some nice shaved (uncooked proscuitto) is nice as well.

                                      Can't wait for your report.....

                                      1. re: eatrustic
                                        grayelf Mar 26, 2011 10:24 PM

                                        The wait is over ;-). Just in from The Bibo and I have to concur with others here who have said the sog kills this 'za. Even ordering a bianca didn't help much. The two pizzas with tomato sauce had actual puddles of water in the middle upon arrival. At least mine avoided that. It had way too much cheese on it though (quattro formaggio to be fair) and I have love cheese. By bite two it had reverted to what seemed like an uncooked state. We only managed to eat half of it before the sog factor defeated us.

                                        The pasta fared better. We tried the cacio et pepe (not enough pepper but properly cooked) and the gnocchi with ragu (quite light but offset by the somewhat bland sauce). Underseasoning is definitely an issue here, based on our five dishes and others' comments.

                                        On the brighter side, we were seated within moments of our reservation time, despite a chaotic and somewhat grumpy looking crowd at the door. As we were coming into the resto, one of a couple leaving said very clearly, "Those two are buffoons; they don't know how to run a restaurant" and then realized we'd overheard. She quickly added, "The food was good though" and her companion chimed in "Just the service was bad." If we hadn't been meeting friends we probably would have run away, especially since I had called to confirm our reservation at lunch time and been told that the manager had taken the reservation book away (!). No service issues materialized. In fact we were done within the hour and despite waving the server off a couple of times as we hemmed and hawed. I think like Pollo we'll be waiting at least a few weeks to see if things level off a bit.

                                        1. re: grayelf
                                          v
                                          virtually Apr 20, 2011 08:36 PM

                                          Bibo has the soggiest pizza and service in town. It looks good, but within minutes it's soggy and inedible. The fact that neither the servers nor the owner have customer service skills doesn't help.

                2. k
                  kinnickinnik Mar 18, 2011 06:10 PM

                  Oh man, I've got to get to this place soon. Just a few minutes walk from home - I'm thrilled to hear the great reviews!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kinnickinnik
                    Pollo Mar 21, 2011 11:57 AM

                    I went on Saturday at 6 PM right when they open to try it out. This is what the two of us had:

                    1. Breasola platter ($18) - plate came missing olive oil which we had to ask for - 6-7 slices of OK breasola and a bit of Arugula and Parmesano - presentation lacked, flavor was OK but too expensive for the portion size.
                    2. Next we had two pastas (Gnocchi $16 and Mateo $18) - both were v. small portions, Mateo pasta was over cooked and the cream sauce which had Porcini in it was laking the Porcini flavor . Gnocchi were light but the pesto was bland. Eventhough both pastas were OK in terms of flavor these are not "repeat" items given the price.
                    3. We had two pizzas (Margherita $12 and Crudo $20) - both pizzas had good/nice outside crust but in both cases centres were soggy - maybe because we were there right at the opening so the oven was not at the right temperature(?). Crudo is not worth the extra $ for the bit of prosciutto and arugula.

                    Our server was nice but totally not on the ball.
                    Overall: this was definitively bit of a let-down especially when it comes to the food. I am gone try the pizza again in a few weeks to see if things are any different....

                  2. s
                    selena03 Mar 17, 2011 05:44 PM

                    I went there with my mom and daughter for lunch today and the pizza and pasta was absolutely delicious. We have been to Rome a few times and what we ate at the Bibo tasted exactly like the better traditional trattorias we ate in on our visits! There is nothing like it in Vancouver (I liked Nicli a lot too but this place is much much better) and I cannot wait to go back. We shared a margherita and a plate of penne arrabiata and my daughter had a pizza with olives and mushrooms no cheese (dairy allergy and they were great about it). The service was warm and friendly and the owner came and asked us what we thought of our meals before we left. The bill was $52 and some change not inc tip (oh I also had one glass of wine). Some will say it is steep for pizza but for the quality, size of the pizza (larger than Nicli), authenticity (an actual cook from Italy) and the fact that no one else in town has food like this, I would pay even more!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: selena03
                      Pollo Mar 18, 2011 07:55 AM

                      How busy was it at lunch?
                      How busy are they at dinner? (do they take reservations?)

                      1. re: Pollo
                        c
                        clutterer Mar 18, 2011 11:01 AM

                        They take reservations.

                        1. re: Pollo
                          s
                          selena03 Mar 18, 2011 05:22 PM

                          We were the only ones there. I am not sure about how it is at dinner but will hopefully find out soon:).
                          I hope the lack of marketing/pr doesn't result in them not making it as it truly was delicious.

                          1. re: selena03
                            c
                            clutterer Mar 19, 2011 11:59 AM

                            We went for dinner, and the place was packed. Not sure if many of you went to Piato, but they took a significant portion of the seats by the window for a waiting area with couches, and then the back corner has a fenced off area (can't remember if that was there when Piato was in the space). The tables are kind of mushed together in the middle area, so it gets pretty packed.

                            Spacing aside, yes, the pizza is quite good, better than Nicli (in my opinion), and the burrata is...drool...sigh. Making reservations again soon.

                            -----
                            Piato Restaurant
                            1835 west 4th avenue, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M4, CA

                      2. e
                        eatrustic Mar 5, 2011 09:18 PM

                        Ok, so I have to ask. How does it match up to Piatzo on Yew (since closed) that you absolutely raved about as well?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: eatrustic
                          m
                          marett Mar 6, 2011 08:12 AM

                          Piatzo was a good pizza restaurant with no business plan. I think that Bibo is much much better. The owners are both from Italy, the pizza cook is from Italy and I think that the food is made with love. They only just opened and I think that their official big opening is still a couple of weeks away. There used to be greek restaurant there (since closed) that was always empty. Last night the restaurant was just about full. I ate a Cioppino's last week and I have to say that I enjoyed Bibo's much more. The food is good at Cioppinos but it is very expensive. Dinner for two at Bibo's could run you about $40.00 to $80.00.
                          You wait and see. I think that there will be line ups out the door when some reviews come out.

                          -----
                          Bibo
                          8316 Main St, Osoyoos, BC V0H1V2, CA

                          1. re: marett
                            Sam Salmon Mar 11, 2011 07:31 PM

                            Bibio's is a *Winner*-No Doubt About It!

                            Slouched in tonight cold wet and hungry and the kind & friendly hostess let me sit as close to the wood burning over as possible-so I not only warmed up/dried out but got to see the Pizza Maker/his oven in action- a real treat.

                            Ordered a Margherita and the crust was everything it should be-I won't wax lyrical but if that authentic chewiness with a tiny hint of char is what you're after this is the place.

                            Accept no substitutes.

                            http://thebibo.com/

                            1. re: Sam Salmon
                              fmed Mar 11, 2011 08:56 PM

                              It's now on the list!

                              1. re: Sam Salmon
                                Pollo Mar 16, 2011 12:39 PM

                                Are they open for lunch?

                                Nevermind....the website is up and running....

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