There is something about an Italian meal that electrifies every sense all at once.
That feeling is hard to come by in South Florida but, that was until I met Cibo Wine Bar in Miami Beach. There are so many components that makes this location a true treasure in Miami. The 12,000 sq. foot restaurant or empire showcases a multiple of experiences for locals and visitors including an industrial style chic bar area, casual side patio along South Pointe Drive and a market with imported goods from Italy where carnivores can curb their craving with freshly sliced meats and cheeses. However, the most enchanting piece of Cibo is their rooftop which is the largest in South Beach. It’s the perfect escape overlooking the ocean and South of Fifth, equipped with fireplaces surrounded by couches, dinner tables and of course, a bar area.
After walking through the bar area and passing eccentric paintings by Mr. Brainwash and Randy Cooper, diners will notice a wine room attached with a harnessed wine angel who will “fly” to retrieve a bottle of choice. If wine isn’t your thing, there are plenty of Italian aperitifs and Cibo even has their own beer. Main dining guests will be able to spy on some of the prepping production behind their 60 ft. kitchen counter. Don’t fill up on bread though or their addictive olives. It will be hard but, save the carbs for the homemade pasta. Italian native, Chef Massimo Giannattasio means business – no seriously, he worked as Executive Chef under Deniro’s restaurant, Ago.
The menu has all sorts of delicacies ranging from Polenta Fries and Mediterranean Clams to Beef Carpaccio and house cured Salmon. An authentic Italian meal cannot be complete without Salumeria though. Since, their Prosciutto di Parma and Salamis are all hand shaven at Cibo – it’s a must. Afterwards, the hardest decision will be picking a pasta but, just make sure it’s from their homemade selection including Lobster Ravioli in a béchamel, lobster cream sauce, Pappardelle in slow cooked lamb ragu or Gnocchi coated in a Gorgonzola cream sauce. Protip: Ask for Gnocchi in bolgnese sauce.
The choices are pretty limtiless including pizzas, calzones, seafood entrees and heartier Italian classics for those uninterested in pasta. Properly ending dinner at Cibo means enjoying a glass of limoncello paired with one of their decadent desserts. Any chocaholic cannot resists their Chocolate Baci Bombe which is a ball of chocolate mousse covered with a shell of chocolate.
In addition to dinner service, Sunday brunch takes place from 11 AM – 4 PM that costs $35 per person for a memorable feast. Mimosas are additional but, priced low enough to keep piggy banks happy. Large groups looking for a Sunday Funday can rent out the private room with a giant TV perfect for the big game.
Cibo Wine & Bar is open daily beginning at 4 PM and opens on Saturday and Sunday around 11 AM. Canadian based, Liberty Group, just opened their 3rd South Florida location in Fort Lauderdale. If there’s any Italian invasion in the Miami area – Cibo Wine Bar is a worthwhile exception. The Miami Beach location seduced my senses from the moment I walked in.