New York, NY
On a chilly Christmas Eve I ventured out with my friend Bud and knowing Christmas was going to be a big "cooking" day, we opted to walk around the corner to the very charming Cibo e Vino.
Considering it was a major holiday we thought the restaurant might be empty. No such thing. It was packed solid with groups of people waiting to be seated. Opting to sit at the bar, we quickly ordered a couple of smart cocktails and decided to do a festival of appetizers.
Split between us we ordered the bruschetta. Towers of taste treats! Micro greens sat atop seared ahi tuna followed by vine ripened tomatoes, avocado, and a crispy toasting of Italian bread all enhanced with a balsamic drizzle. More than a mouthful, we decided to use knife and fork so as not to miss a morsel of this appetizer. Fresh, bright and surprisingly light, the bruschetta was a great choice.
Next up were the meatballs swimming in the house tomato sauce with dollops of basil burrata puree. Tender and flavorful, the sweet tang of the tomato sauce was the perfect juxtaposition to the addition of the aromatic basil burrata. Plus it looked very Christmas-like, with red and green. (Or the Italian flag with the white plate.)
But wait, there's more. The crispy cauliflower with truffle béchamel sauce was our favorite of all three appetizers. Cauliflower is the perfect blank canvas for any culinary artist and the chef didn't disappoint. Quickly deep fried and topped with a delicious white sauce scented with the truffle, it had the perfect sprinkling of salt, that took the app to the next level.
The next time you find yourself on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, New York, check out Cibo e Vino.