At Cibo Wine Bar
By: Marla Horn Lazarus
South of Fifth’s Cibo Wine Bar is the biggest Italian eatery in all of South Beach. Created by Liberty Entertainment Group, this bold and beautiful 12,000 square foot space is a blend of old world rustic and modern industrial chic. For over two decades the Liberty Entertainment Group, led by Nick Di Donato, has been redefining the restaurant, nightlife and special event experience. As developers and operators of numerous landmark establishments, the Liberty Entertainment Group has become recognized as one of the most successful and innovative companies in the industry with properties in Miami and Toronto.
Founded in 1986, the Liberty Entertainment Group has gained success and acknowledgment for creating an impressive roster of unique venues that garner immediate recognition. Each venue is rich in detail and originality and caters to a diverse clientele, including A List celebrities, talent and industry leaders. Constantly staying ahead of the curve, Liberty is distinguished for its ability to set trends, push limits and create the impossible.
Hand-made and traditional are a few things that come to mind when dining at Cibo (pronounced chee-bow, meaning food in Italian) Wine Bar…a true taste of authentic southern Italian cooking, all freshly made at the 60ft open kitchen counter. The soaring two-story award winning wine room has 3500 bottles of vino and is equipped with a harnessed wine angel to retrieve your favorite bottle. From Cibo’s industrial chic vibrant bar area to the casual Ocean Drive street side patio to one of SOBE’s largest rooftop, every corner turned offers a distinctly different experience. From Pasta to breads, everything is made from scratch in house it from only the finest ingredients.
With so many choices, we began our tour of Italy with fresh rosemary focaccia and olives along with some amazing house specialties, which included crispy polenta fries with gorgonzola dip, grilled octopus with radicchio, fried capers and lemon juice, creamy Burrata, traditional Italian cheese, prosciutto di Parma, arugula and aged balsamic as well as the Black Tiger shrimp in a spicy wine garlic tomato sauce. Don’t miss the Pesce Crudo of thinly sliced raw tuna, sliced fennel, orange, extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice or the Carpaccio of thinly slice raw beef, arugula, shavings of parmigiano reggiano, extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice, a meal themselves.
Insalate, large enough to share, offer radiccio, endive with gorgonzola, roasted red peppers, black olives, pine nuts, honey, balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil or the spinach salad with organic dried figs, pine nuts, cranberries, brie, capellini crisps drizzled in a strawberry vinaigrette. The arugula salad with prosciutto di Parma, shaved parmigiano reggiano, red wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive is crisp and flavorful.
Pasta and pizza are not to be taken lightly at Cibo. Pasta Fresca, made fresh daily is ever changing and tonight we landed on the spectacular ravioli stuffed with lobster in a lemon béchamel lobster cream sauce. Delicate layers of lasagna are filled with mozzarella cheese, salami, Bolognese sauce and parmigiano reggiano while the ribbons of Pappardelle soak up the luscious slow cooked lamb ragu and parmigiano reggiano. Fettucine with shrimp, pesto, mascarpone cheese with a touch of tomato sauce burst with flavor as the linguine with fresh clams, mussels, calamari and Tiger shrimp are finished off with a light tomato sauce. It just keeps getting better and better.
Pizza, second to none, feature a variety of delicious combinations from the veggie Quattro Stagioni with tomato, mozzarella, olives, red peppers, mushrooms, eggplant and zucchini or the hearty San Matteo with mozzarella, spicy Italian sausage, rapini and garlic. Don’t pass up the delicious Capricciosa with tomato, mozzarella, Italian ham, mushrooms, artichokes and olives or the irresistible gorgonzola with mozzarella, gorgonzola, fresh pears, walnuts and honey.
Chianti braised short ribs, melted in our mouths, combine porcini crusted beef short ribs with gorgonzola polenta and crispy onions while the Pesce Del Giorno, oven baked while fish with lemon, parsley, extra-virgin olive oil, rapini and roasted potatoes. Tender Pollo Mattone serves roasted free-range chicken with rosemary, garlic, sautéed spinach and roasted potatoes. Trota Alla Griglia features fresh grilled trout with a lemon caper drizzle, baby summer squash and fava beans.
Along with cappuccino, our sweet ending of decadent Nutella pizza with banana and crushed hazelnuts, rich chocolate Baci bombe with hazelnut praline and Affogato with vanilla gelato and a shot of espresso was simply perfect. Creamy lemon ricotta cheesecake with black cherries and white chocolate shavings is light and luscious while the cannoli Siciliani is delicately filled with mascarpone crème, orange zest and chocolate shavings.
For a special treat, any day of the week, Cibo Wine Bar is the place to be whether you are seated in one of their magnificent dining rooms or on the spectacular rooftop patio with breathtaking views. This celebrated eatery would not be complete without original artwork from renowned artists Mr. Brainwash and Randy Cooper. When in Miami, this space cannot be missed! Bon Appétit…
Cibo Wine Bar South Beach is located at 200 South Pointe Drive, Miami Beach. Open daily for dinner, reservations are recommended by calling 305-987-6060 www.cibowinebar.com