Monday, July 23, 2012

Atlanta Restaurant Review: Cibo y Beve



It is not often that I head to Sandy Springs for dinner. It is simply nowhere near where I live and rarely where the coolest things are happening. But I'd been hearing about Cibo e Beve (food and drinks in Italian) for quite a while, so when invited for a recent media dinner, I jumped at the chance to go. Fortunately for me, it was a pretty easy jaunt from my office near Cumberland. Unfortunately for the Mr., it was an hour and a half epic nightmare of a drive from Virgina Highlands. Despite this, he managed to leave the dinner happy, so that says a lot right there about how good Cibo e Beve is.


We started with the Goat Cheese Panna Cotta which sits atop a fried green tomato and is dressed with pepper jam, pancetta syrup, and marcona almonds. The tomato was crisp but still fresh and offered a nice counterpoint to the rich goat cheese.




Next up were caramelized black figs with Burrata mozzarella and prosciutto. This is a relatively simple dish, but each ingredient is such a delight that it makes up in flavor what it lacks in creativity. Figs to me are the biggest treat of summer. There is such a small window in which to eat them, and they are so lucious when paired with the fatty pork and gooey burrata.


Upon eating the lobster spaghetti, I thought of it as a buttery decadence. Turns out that it is not buttery at all. If you can make me think I'm eating a boatload of butter, when I am in fact not, that's a very good think in my book. They didn't skimp on the fresh Maine lobster either, so I highly recommend this dish. In fact, I returned to Cibo e Beve the very next night for a work dinner, and I told my companions that they couldn't miss it. 


Our entree at the media dinner was Gulf Coast Pan Seared Black Grouper with Cauliflower Puree, Sea Beans, Citrus Olive Oil. I'll be honest, I just don't get very excited about most fish dishes. Mine was well prepared, and struck me as a great option for someone trying to eat healthily at an Italian restaurant. I preferred my entree the next night - the chicken saltinbocca- which was another winner. The mozzarella was added with light hand, so it wasn't heavy, and the marsala and mushroom jus were extra delicious as the seeped into the polenta.

I didn't get to sample much in terms of cocktails, but I'm impressed by the old timey hipness of their cocktail list, with lesser known classics like the gin rickey and the aviation joining Italian classics like the Negroni and even four takes on the Moscow Mule. The wine list is mostly Italian with a number of bottles available for under $30. 


After all that, I still found room for the Classic Tiramisu. This dessert was quite simply the business. 
It's consistency was much creamier due to its mascarpone mousse than other more cake-like versions.  It may well be the best take on tiramisu that I've ever had. Who needs too many lady fingers when there is so much mascarponey goodness?



The service was excellent both nights I visited. Attentive but not overbearing; knowledgeable and friendly. Executive Chef/Partner Linda Harrell stopped by our table both nights, and like the rest of the staff seemed to have a genuine interest in making sure everyone was happy. 

She was excited to share with us the new brunch menu which is soon to launch. I may well be willing to schlep to Sandy Springs on a Sunday just to get The Hipster, Cibo e Beve's take on the Monte Cristo, french toast stuffed with proscuitto and tallegio, topped with mustard rosemary syrup. 

All in all, I was very happy with both of my Cibo e Beve experiences. The restaurant strikes me like the kind of place I'd go all the time if I lived in the hood, and the crowds on the weeknights I visited suggested that the neighbors agree.

Cibo e Beve
4969 Roswell Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30342

Cibo e Beve on Urbanspoon


*Full disclosure: Although my meal was comped, I always endeavor to offer my unbiased opinion of the experience! 

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