2418 Broadway @ 89th Street
Upper West Siders in New York City have patiently anticipated the opening of Cibo e Vino (Food and Wine) and boy was it worth the wait!
Hotel Note: If looking for a hotel on the Upper West Side check out: The Milburn.
Georgia's Bakery occupied the space previously and it always had an awkward feel about it. We all can walk into an environment and know instantly if there is flow or not. Feng shui! For such a small space, Cibo e Vino did a beautiful and clever renovation which has created a warm and inviting restaurant that seems to wrap its arms around you from the moment you enter.
My favorite spot already is at the bar. It only seats 8, so I tend to go early or late, when the crowds are lighter. But the restaurant is also open for breakfast and lunch.
Dizzy Note: Anyone, like myself, who has vestibular disorders, if you're sitting at a bar with more than one friend, make sure you are on either end of and not in between them, to reduce the amount of head-turning. No need to set off vertigo when the food and atmosphere is this sweet.
A broad description of the fare would be Mediterranean but more specifically, it's Northern Italian. On my first visit I was strongly encouraged to try their flash fried mushroom appetizer. On my own, I probably wouldn't have ordered it thinking it may be . . . fried mushrooms. But it's oh so much more.
You can taste how fresh the oil is and with just a bit of rosemary, salt, and truffle oil these bite-size taste treats are addictive. So light and airy with a bit of crunch. (Sorry, this pic I took does not do them justice.) Every time I have returned, I have ordered this.
I also love their fritto misto - fried calamari, shrimp, and zucchini served with a tomato dipping sauce.
Other delicious appetizers are their cutting boards. You can pick and choose from the menu - a selection of Italian charcuterie: chicken liver paté, coppa (pork), bresaola (beef), prosciutto, and felino salame AND/OR their selection of Italian cheeses: parmigiano, taleggio (thin crust, strong aroma), brie and caciotta (soft and mild).
You can see that they serve it with fresh grilled bread, mustard, preserves and fruit.
You can make a complete meal from these delicious appetizers but I also tried their steak pepe verde with herbed fries. The green peppercorn sauce has a mild kick to it and fries are crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside. Real comfort food and prepared to perfection.
Days of only drinking white wine with fish and red wine with meat are over. Glasses of New Zealand's Sauvignon Blanc, Matua, 2012, with hints of gooseberry and lime were perfect pairings with these entrees.
Absolutely too full for dessert, we were surprised when the very charming and beautiful restaurant manager and hostess, Elena, brought to the table glasses of limoncello and a serving of their tiramisu. A heavenly pillow of yumminess! Of course it was devoured.
I'm so lucky to have this new and wonderful restaurant so close to my apartment. The Upper West Side really needed this fresh and delicious addition to our eateries. Now I must try their breakfast and lunch!