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Jan 2, 2012 11:58 PM

Cibo Bistro

Anyone tried the new Italian restaurant in Edmonton? Any thoughts.

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  1. So I went for lunch last week, wasn't too impressed with the pasta I ordered it was really dry needed some sauce.

    7 Replies
    1. re: misterpeer

      That is too bad misterpeer.

      I just went through the menu posted on the internet and from what I read, it interests me. Will have to pop in the next time I am around the area at lunch time.

      Are they in the same space that used to house Blue Iguana? A place I really "wanted to like" but the menu was always better written and generally more interesting than the food which was delivered.

      1. re: Bob Mac

        Lunch menu is limited. I will try their dinner menu soon.

        They are in the same spot where Tesoro Cafe used to be.

          1. re: felix the hound

            I finally made it to Cibo this lunch hour and must say that I was impressed despite the fact as others have already commented, lunch is more restricted than dinner. Nice room. Fairly spacious despite the fact that is long and relatively narrow with the exception of the immediate area where one enters and the long table for bigger parties. I do not know if that becomes "family" communal style on busier nights. I selected their arugula salad with apple slivers and walnuts with a lemon vinaigrette and the arancini with black chanterelles. Both were ($10). Also on the menu, i.e. read chalk board ...were a couple of sandwiches and a couple of pastas which I no longer remember. The soup was chowder. If memory serves me correctly, they were all in the $8 to $10 range. My salad was very good. The arugula was peppery but not overly "green" as can be the case elsewhere as the arugula itself was smaller and delicate . It did not "suffer" from being "over dressed" which can be the case and is one of my bete noire's. The two arancini were superb. Raquet ball sized. The exterior broke off easily releasing the rice, cheese and mushroom interior. Nice blend of crunchy exterior, al dente rice, salty interior and slivers of black mushroom. Are black chanterelles and black trumpet mushrooms the same thing? I do not know but these added colour/contrast and taste. Neither were too large, but combined made for a nice lunch. Their wine menu is well chosen. I had a nice montepulciano which went well with the food. While eating lunch I had occasion to read their dinner menu and speak with the chef. Friendly with a good attitude. Keeps the menu small with enough changes so that both the "buying public" and the kitchen brigade are enthused. Definitely will be back some evening. I could "graise" on the appetizers and other antipasti alone but it will be a battle of who gets the osso bucco v. the braised beef cheeks. Now have to try Corso32 though recent articles have left the impression that it is hard to get a seat if you have not made a reservation some time ago. I chuckled when I most recently read that in Hicks' column. Food writers may think that is a complement but I know that it can drive restaurant owners mad...or is that madder? that the general public may decide not to call on a whim when they do have an empty table rather than be rebuffed.

            Cibo is a good bet. Excellent food. Interesting albeit admittedly limited at lunch. Excellent, friendly service.

            1. re: Bob Mac

              My wife and I went recently and really enjoyed our dinner. I echo Bob's comments on the wine list...some really interesting selections that you don't see everywhere. We had appetizers, main courses, and desserts and all were quite well executed, although the mains seemed a little salty. We will definitely go back!

              1. re: egon61

                We were three at Cibo for dinner recently, and our experience was mixed.

                We enjoyed the primi (arugula salad, polpettes, and Zeppole) We did not anticipate that the portions would be so generous and probably should have ordered only two to share. But we ate it all with the help of a bottle of Verdiccio dei Castelli

                The main courses, all "Pasta de la Casa" ,included two Pappardelle with Tartufo ( the special that night) and one Tagliatelle Con Vongole . . All three dishes were oversalted, which really detracted from the simplicity inherent to pasta with truffles.The home made pasta was disappointing as it lacked texture, was limp and sticking together.

                We did not order dessert because we were having coffee and Duchess cake at home.

                Service was very good and friendly and the wine list is reasonable.

                The menu is interesting and ambitious and I will probably go back to try things other than the pasta, or to share appetizers for lunch. My take so far is that Cibo is a high priced trattoria ( a bit of an oxymoron)

                1. re: felix the hound

                  We were at Cibo recently and had an excellent late night dinner by just ordering appetizzers ,"tapas" style.

      2. Has anyone been to both corso32 and Cibo? corso32 has impressed me each time but I have yet to go to Cibo. I am curious as to how the arancini at both would compare, for example. A comparison between both regarding service and atmosphere as well would be most helpful.

        5 Replies
        1. re: chefathome

          I've been to both but only a recent lunch at Cibo - so unfair to compare the two. It was a great lunch though! As mentioned above a fairly small but well done menu on a chalkboard.

          We had the Bucattini with Pancetta, Tomatos, white wine "sauce" etc. - I love this style with a minimal dressing of perfectly cooked pasta.

          We also had the Pulled Beef Sandwich with Tomato Jam which came with choice of soup or salad. We opted for the Arugula salad - a very nice portion and again everything was perfectly seasoned and interesting. Prices were very reasonable as well. I'm really looking forward to going for dinner.

          From the look of the evening menu I'd say they can give Corso a run for their money. Dinner at Corso in January was good but marred with two portions of Beef Cheeks that were totally lacking in seasoning and although we didn't insist on sending them back there was little to no response to our friendly critique.

          1. re: eatrustic

            Thanks to both of you. I appreciate the differences and feel better informed.

          2. re: chefathome

            Not quite in the same league, although Cibo has the ambition to get better. I found their food consistently over-salted. I appreciated their interesting menu and wine options...with a little more polish at Cibo this would be an interesting conversation to have, but not quite yet.

            1. re: egon61

              I ve only been to Corso 32 twice but I am puzzled about the way they serve the pasta dishes.

              I tried their tartufo ravioli which is excellent except that both times it came at room temperature and with a bit too much butter for my taste.

              I had the chicken liver tortellini and it came overdressed with the balsamic vinegar sauce., which covered the entire plate even after I ate the tortellini

              I had the pappardelle with Boar sausage, and it was oversauced, that it is, it came drenched in sauce . My companion had the bucattini and it was not only oversauced but the sauce was unbalanced and oversalted..

              My recollection is that this is not the way pasta was served to us in Florence and surrounding towns, where the concept of sauce as "condimenti" prevailed.

            2. re: chefathome

              I went to Corso 32 once last year, and went to Cibo a couple of weeks ago for the first time. Had the arancini at both places. Corso's had a more complex flavour but Cibo's had more cheese and were a little larger so that you got more of the soft risotto rather than a lot of hard crust.

              The mains we had at Cibo were great. Very tasty, good sized portions. Not over salted. Corso's mains are probably a bit more out of the box.

              At Corso I sat at the big shared table with the bar chairs and felt like I was was going to topple out of the chair the entire time. Cibo is still modern, but cozier and I felt more comfortable sitting in that atmosphere.

              It's also way easier to get a reservation to Cibo. Personally, I would go to Cibo on a more regular basis, and to Corso maybe on special occasions.

            3. I had dinner at Cibo Bistro this evening. It was a great meal.

              To start, we shared the polenta fritta and the pan fried ricotta cakes. The polenta fritta, for lack of a better way to describe it, was really classy junk food. It is essentially crispy polenta fries with a sprig of rosemary served with spicy salami slices and an aioli with rosemary olive oil. It was very enjoyable with polenta that was crispy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. The salami gave a nice bite. The ricotta cakes were also enjoyable. A drizzle of olive oil on the plate with little browned pillows of soft, fresh ricotta, topped with some shreds of chicken (chicken conduto) and basil tomato jam (to me, it tasted and looks like sundried tomatoes).

              For my main, I had the braised beef cheeks, which came with Montepulciano risotto. I also ordered a side of rapini to go with our mains. The beef cheek was nicely browned on the outside and was very tender and juicy, with a bit of a sweet taste to it (the waiter had recommended pairing a less sweet wine with it, which was a good choice) and the risotto was flavourful and moist.

              I enjoyed the rapini. As a vegetable side, there isn't a lot I can say, but it tasted good and the toasted pine nuts were a nice additional. The only complaint would be that for the price ($7), it was a fairly small serving.

              My dining partner had the beet ravioli, stuffed with goat cheese, and then topped with chives, butter, and pistachios. While at first it may not look like a huge portion due to the number of ravioli served (5?), it was filing due to the richness and size of them. I had a taste of it and would have been happy with it being my main, as well.

              For dessert, we split the chocolate trio (dark chocolate tart, hazlenut brittle with white chocolate ice cream, and a Frangelico-milk chocolate mousse with whipping cream). I enjoyed all three, but my least favourite was the white chocolate ice cream. It was pleasant enough, but not particularly distinctive in taste. The brittle that came with it was also more of a candy glass than the brittle with which I am familiar. The mousse was my favourite (creamy, smooth, and a nice flavour).

              I will definitely be returning, as there were dishes on the menu I still want to try.

              2 Replies
              1. re: aasg

                Is this part of the Cibo Calgary and Cibo Tratorria in Vancouver 'chain'? they all have different websites.

              2. Enjoy a pineapple pizza there on the weekend. I was amazed at how light it really was, despite appearing to have a thicker crust around the edge. It was very nice. I will be back for sure!