Urban dictionary defines CIBO (pronounced- chee-bow) as: "Name for a non-pretentious person who enjoys all food. Either talking about food, or eating food, a cibo is happy with all things food and takes minimal amount of pictures. Cibo is the antithesis of a foodie." http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cibo
I'm not sure if the owners of Cibo had this in mind when they chose the name (there are certainly a lot of restaurants and bistros named Cibo all over North America as a search on urban spoon will reveal) but the urban definition is fitting. Cibo is a beautiful unpretentious space with the look and feel of a renovated warehouse apartment. The high ceilings and open area are not the best for noise, however; when the place is full on a Friday night, you'll have to shout if you want your dinner date to hear you across the table. On the plus side, you won't even notice if there happens to be a baby crying nearby and it makes the transition to nightclub later in the evening a snap.
Cibo's menu is set up for sharing, there is a large offering of small tapas style plates, salads, entree type meals and pastas and of course, pizza. The wait staff suggests choosing a selection for the table and the food is presented family style. Tapas plates are indeed small and come $4 a plate or 3 for $11, 5 for $18. We started with the house marinated olives - served warm with garlic, orange, oregano and chilies - very tasty, the tuscan chicken liver - with pancetta, capers, garlic, anchovies and parsley - surprisingly blank given the ingredients, and the peppers - feta cheese, white anchovy, oregano, orange and dried olives - which was my favorite of the opening three. It was well integrated with a nice play on different textures and flavor profiles.
We followed this with a second round of tapas - shrimp - shaved fennel, summer melon, mint, pickled chilies, burrata - grilled broccolini, cured lemon, white anchovy and fresno chilies, and arancini - veal, sweet peas and mozzarella. The arancini was a strange dish, it looked like a deep fried risotto ball (not what we were expecting at all) and it was on the greasy, lukewarm side.
The shrimp was tasty - though more pickled peppers would have kicked it up.
The pizza had a nice traditional crust - crispy outside with an almost bagel-like chew inside - and an interesting choice of toppings. We had the goat cheese, chicken, artichoke, scallion, green olives, peppers and tomatoes. None of the pizzas have names, only the list of toppings. My vote for best pizza still goes to Una though.
One dish to avoid is the Sausage with caramelized onion - even our waiter tried to warn us against this one by claiming it was "rich" - well, that's one way to put it. This was like eating lukewarm rendered lard - we had to send it back after one bite. They need to do something in the cooking process to get some of the fat out.
And on a more pleasant note, on to dessert:
We tried the Nutella Calzone - pizza dough around Nutella with a sour cherry compote and Biscotti. The calzone was nice, Cibo does a good pizza crust, though it's pretty much what you'd expect from the description. The Biscotti lists : Double Chocolate, Fig and Walnut, Twice Baked Apricot Ginger and White Chocolate flavours so I was expecting one of each, instead I had to choose one and then got three cookies anyway. The double chocolate cookies were good but they were NOT biscotti as you can see. They fell apart when I tried to dip one in my cappuccino.