Cibo Wine Bar in Coral Gables raises great expectations. The affable manager stops by for courteous conversation while crusty, complimentary bread is delivered on a cutting board with olives and a big jug of rosemary-infused olive oil. Even ordering wine from the 250-plus bottle list is a production. A woman dressed in black glides up and down a suspended wire like a Cirque du Soleil act to retrieve selections from a glass-enclosed, floor-to-ceiling storage wall. But no amount of toe pointing and twirling by a wine waitress on a zip line can distract from the fact that many of the Italian dishes don’t match their charming surroundings.
Ambience: The lighting, from flickering flames in mason jars and a glowing corner pizza oven, is just so. Deep and inviting booths with lumbar pillows create cozy, bricked-in alcoves, each with its own rustic table. There’s also an elegant bar and scattered wooden tables, both inside and out.
- Sold salads and thin-crust pizzas
- Deep-fried zucchini and artichoke with two zesty aioli sauces, one flavored with roasted red pepper and the other with lemon and lime
- Surprisingly savory and not overly sweet pear and Gorgonzola pizza drizzled with honey
- Arugula salad with radicchio, endives, sliced portobello mushrooms, big, salty Parmesan shavings and a well-balanced sheen from lemon and olive oil
Cloud-like semifreddo with frangelico zabaglione with a hint of lemon
- Wonderfully intense house-made gelato, particularly the hazelnut
What Didn’t Work
- Rigatoni in Bolognese sauce
- Disappointng mushroom risotto
- A clam and mussel appetizer with diced potatoes in a spicy wine and garlic tomato sauce that failed to live up to its spirited billing
- Flavor-lacking chianti-braised, porcini-crusted short ribs
- A weekly linguine with whole lobster special with tough and inedible lobter