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Aug 25, 2013 06:57 PM

via Cibo @ York Mills / Leslie

Has anyone tried this place?

Getting lots of positive press, putting piadina on the map

Does the food lives up to the promise..sure looks molto bene

Thanks in advance


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  1. I took a late lunch there recently, and was impressed with my $11portobello-and-goat-cheese piadina, which is, in effect, a sandwich in a laffa-like wrap. Comfortable, well-designed space with clean lines, sturdy tables and chairs, and a communal counter. It's somewhere between fast food joint, upscale cafeteria and hip sit-down resto. You step up to the front counter, tell them what on the mid-sized menu you want and - after 5-10 minutes or so - they bring it to you, made from scratch, attractively presented and intensely tasty. Assorted Italian sandwiches, pizzas and pastas, salads and sides (Italian street food, they call it). Real plates and cutlery, and decent napkins, unlike most of its fast-food brethren in the Longo's plaza at York Mills and Leslie. Alert young staff who seem to want to please, without being overly obsequious. Background music not too loud. Because it's an all-day menu, it seems a little too expensive for an everyday lunch - most mains are around $12, so if you add a soft drink and maybe a light side dish, you're quickly above $20. But it'd make an ideal casual dinner at easy-to-take prices. A couple could make it out of there of an evening for about $50, all in, possibly less. Limited wine and beers at acceptable prices. I wouldn't schlep across town for it, but if you're in the neighbourhood, it's a decent specialty act.

    2 Replies
    1. re: juno

      Thanks for the review Juno

      Their price point may work with the McEwens crowd and prove a wee bit ambitious for the hoi polloi



      1. re: toronto guy

        Went to via Cibo when they first opened with a group of about six. It was a really nice experience. The food was very tasty, fresh, nicely prepared and presented. The staff were friendly and helpful. We ordered some of everything, salad, panini, piadine, pasta, and everyone was happy with their food. We had drinks, but didn't try the desserts. It's a bit spendy for a regular work-day lunch, but the food and atmosphere definitely warrant the extra cost. I will be going again for sure - maybe for a casual dinner instead of lunch.

        It's interesting that you mention McEwan's, I happened to be there today to pick up a quick lunch. I got a very nice chicken sandwich and a drink for around $15, served in a disposable container. I ate it at the tiny counter on an uncomfortable stool. This is not to complain - it was exactly as I expected - good quality that you have to pay for. I also realize that McEwan's is not a dine-in place, but rather a high-end food store.

        But it's fair to say that if you're looking for a nice lunch, for about the same amount of money, you would enjoy a much nicer over-all experience at via Cibo.

    2. I just looked @ the menu and it looks pretty good. I'm definitely going to give it a try. Juno, do you recall if they have a patio?

      2 Replies
      1. re: kwass

        Yes, there are a few tables - and shade umbrellas - in a front patio. But who wants to look out upon a plaza parking lot? Inside is better.

        1. re: TorontoJo

          I read that today. It sounds pretty intriguing.

          1. re: TorontoJo

            Thanks for the link... I had minimal interest in this restaurant till I read the article. Oakville stoney bakery is a great spot and I never knew via cibo is a sister restaurant.

            1. re: Nevy

              I felt the same as you Nevy. I really had no interest either until I read the article.

                1. re: kwass

                  I almost wrote it off after the first paragraph though. Extreme Pita is not my first or even third choice in most places. (I find most of the franchises are ridiculously stingy). Plus the company name Extreme Brandz is a bit hard for me to take seriously.

                  But the concept paired with sister restaurants like Oakville's Stoney Bread Bakery and Burger Priest makes me believe this is possibly a good lunch choice. Food that's well done and moderately priced ... If it's as good as Stoney, I hope they expand to malls. I'm always dreading making a choice between a moxie, su&shi, or Quiznos. They make Michel Baguettes look like a Michelin star place to eat.

                  1. re: Nevy

                    I used to like the Alberta Beef Dip sandwich at Moxie's, although I haven't ordered it since the chain opened up locations in Ontario. In my experience, I've found Moxie's food to be better than Quizno's, mall sushi or Michel's Baguette.

                    1. re: prima

                      Prima, I think it's fair to say that Moxie prior to it's large expansion in Ontario was better than mall food. At least in my old memory it was!

                      There's a Moxie in Square One, Yorkdale, and in Meadowvale Business area and after a lunch and dinner at each spot, both were mildly better than Milestones but still not as good as my Calgary memory/experience. I'll agree that it's better than food court food but you are paying double the price in most cases. I found the Yorkdale and Square One location higher on the hemlines compared to the service and food quality (they both came lukewarm after sitting on the kitchen pass for a while) and the pasta of my friend was mush and under salted.

                      For mall food, I would prefer to eat at Earl's so far... they haven't expanded as fast as Moxie's. I find it's more 'family' oriented so the service isn't all about young female waitstaff preening and the food is more consistent (and less ambitious... perhaps that's a factor in being better?)

                      I'm not going to totally derail the Via Cibo thread but I hope this place is better than Famoso's.

                    2. re: Nevy

                      The article states that Crave It Restaurant Group was "started this year".
                      Both Burger Priest and Stoney Bread Bakery pre-date that!

                      Not that it's relevant to the company set-up, but that makes it difficult to project how the food will be going forward. I really don't trust that article, which seems full of misdirections, but do like the Via Cibo on York Mills. But again - $3 million to develop a sandwich - which it wasn't - the fine print shows that was the investment to start the restaurant?!? (I wouldn't invest - but then it says it's a private company anyway).

                      I also note that the Star seems to have a surprising interest in this company. Several articles in the past year, but no other media are clever enough to spotlight this success story (or maybe I'm coming down from my holiday sugar-high, and am in bah humbug mode!).

                      1. re: estufarian

                        They bought those two companies, presumably with the intention to expand/franchise.

                        The Star chose to follow the company for a year for a series about getting a restaurant (restaurant corporation, in this case?) off the ground.

                        But you are entertaining in your bah humbug mode, estufarian, so keep at it. :0)

                        1. re: TorontoJo

                          After attempting to visit Kramer's (see Folia Grill thread) I think I'm humbugged out. Have to edit myself for fear of being banned forever. May eventually post as an example of how not to run a restaurant - sorry Bar & Grill that doesn't serve food, but has a social media consultant, but can't find on any social media.

                          Thinking of changing my avator/name to 'The Grinch'

                2. re: TorontoJo

                  I just saw that article in the physical paper, going through some old articles I had clipped out. I definitely want to try it as I had great experiences with Piadina in NYC and was disappointed not to be able to find it a few years ago that I started making my own from scratch including frying on a cast iron frying pan with lard.

                3. I was impressed with the operation and food of this place. I took my daughter (only 9) for lunch at Via Cibo and found the staff warm and friendly. For those that haven't been, once you enter the front door you turn to your left and head over to the menu board and place your order. They ask for your name and give you a numbered tag. It has the open kitchen concept where you see the kitchen staff making your meal. You then head over to the cashier where you can order your drinks and dessert. The cashier, through their system, will know you by name and order. After paying and getting your drinks you head over to either the several tables along the side or the central communal table. It's clean, simply decorated with a modern look. The tables are a good size and chairs are sturdy. They use real cutlery, ceramic plates and strong, large napkins. Once seated it didn't take long for our food to be brought to us (make sure the wait staff see your numbered tag on your table).

                  The menu is Italian and divided into Insalate, Pizza, Pasta, Piadina, Panino and Sides. I had the Tonno Piadina (seared tuna) and my daughter had the margherita pizza. I enjoyed my piadina (for the lack of a better reference it's basically an Italian wrap using an Italian flatbread - made on the premises). It was sliced chunks of seared tuna in a piadina with lightly dressed mixed greens and tomatoes. It also came with a small mound of mixed greens with a nice lightly sweet dressing. There was also a creamy sauce that decorated the plate which I used to spread on my piadina. The sauce worked with it. My daughter's pizza was simple, about 14" in diameter and not swimming in cheese. It had fresh basil on top and I guess it was good because she devoured it. I never had a chance to try it. For our drinks I had an Aranciata and she had a can of ice tea. They do have Italian sodas made in front of you. We paid around $33 for the whole meal with tax and drinks. We will definitely go back as I want to bring the wife and try the ossobuco panino.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: scarberian

                    UPDATE: I took the wife this time along with our daughter for dinner. We ordered the Tuscan fries, wife had the rose pasta with shrimp, I had the ossobuco panino and the daughter had her usual margherita pizza. We loved the Tuscan fries (fresh cut fries seasoned with rosemary, salt, pepper, truffle oil and shaved grano pandano). It also came with a creamy, garlicky sauce. We devoured it in minutes. The pasta was al dente, the sauce was very good and shrimp was not over cooked. My panino sandwich was big and heavy. It was stuffed full of tender and tasty ossobuco in a toasted baguette. I would definitely order it again. This place is becoming our second goto place for our Italian fix.

                  2. I am copying over my review from the Don Mills & Sheppard thread as it also is very relevant here.

                    estufarian Oct 25, 2013 09:40 AM

                    Thanks to all of you for mentioning Via Cibo. Honestly I wouldn't ever have gone in there without your suggestion. Not only was it easy to get to (and home from) but the food was excellent, place was clean, service was friendly and I'll DEFINITELY return.
                    Yes, price is a little high in 'fast food' terms, but the value is certainly delivered.
                    All the food is cooked 'fresh upon ordering' i.e. no steam table (although clearly the proteins must have been pre-prepared and then chilled). I had the veal shortrib off-the-bone, which was pan-heated while the other ingredients were being freshly prepared. The salad was mixed AFTER ordering and the grana padano was shaved on just before serving. The Tuscan fries also had last-second shaving of the grana padano.
                    I found the layout a little strange - one orders the food right at the start of the line (from an overhead menu) and proceeds past the open cooking line (no need to stop there) right through to the beverage ordering register (very simple as all beers are same price, all wines are same price and 'specialty' coffees are same price). One also pays there and a dessert upsale is attempted (politely) then, shortly after, your meal is delivered by a server.
                    I initially wondered why the two registers, but then realized the food is being cooked while you are ordering the desserts/beverages/payment so it will be delivered shortly after one is seated.
                    Thus, take-out speed in a finer environment.
                    And the food was very good - actually excellent when one figures in price.
                    This was a wonderful discovery - thanks for the suggestion - my loyalty to Chowhound is renewed.
                    And how can I post without one criticism? I found the dessert choices boring. Mostly chocolate based with only a raspberry cheesecake for variety. Given the wonderful selection of harvest fruits available now I would loved to have a choice of apple or pear dish available. But a minor quibble - they just missed an opportunity to take more of my money.