Cibo is necessity and indulgence

30 11 2009

That's my reflection on Cibo's mirror wall.

THE NICE thing about food is that it is both a necessity and an indulgence.  Even better, it can be both at the same time.

There was no stopping my dinner plans last Friday night.  Earlier in the day, my friend and fellow engineer Kakel and I floated the idea of treating ourselves to a great dinner – should we survive the day.  You see, where we work, something really major is happening.  We’re in the process of totally asserting our independence from the two parent companies that brought forth the business venture we are in.  Think Y2K all over again – only this time, with real drama.  I was waiting for a chasm to open up from right under me.

But with all that we had to go through and take care of, we realized that a great dinner was a non-negotiable.  On the drive to Town, I was quick to recommend Pepper Lunch.  But when we were greeted by the velvet rope upon which was a sign that said, “Line starts here,” I had to seriously reconsider our restaurant choice.

Good thing that right next door to Pepper Lunch is Cibo!  It was also full but I immediately radar-locked unto the last remaining free booth seating.

Spinaci Gorgonzola

The spinaci gorgonzola comes with a generous pile of the best melba toast!

While the usual accompanying melba toast is nice, I prefer my bread soft. So here's my own "soft" melba toast. Finished this off!

We started with the Spinaci Gorgonzola (spinach and gorgonzola cheese dip, Php 218.00), served with melba toast.  I’m not fond of bread sliced thin then toasted to a crisp so I asked for a side serving of soft melba toast (Php 18.00).  Even with what I had in mind for dinner, I managed to finish the whole serving of the bread!

Farfalle Genovese

One of Cibo's strongest points is their presentation. The la famiglia serving of their farfalle genovese comes in a huge pristine white serving platter placed on top a thick slab of wood. The plentiful portion of their fresh bread is neatly piled up on the side.

A tight shot of the farfalle genovese. See the generosity of the restaurateur in this dish. You see all the components – the fresh basil pesto, the wild mushroom cream sauce, and the freshly grated parmesan cheese – all completely coating each piece of bow tie pasta.

Just one of the many helpings of farfalle genovese that I helped myself to.

I then asked for the la famiglia serving of Farfalle Genovese (farfalle in a fresh wild mushroom cream sauce and basil pesto served with a generous grating of well-aged parmesan cheese, Php 465.00).  This dish has long been touted as one of the bestsellers at Cibo.  And I had it for the first time that night.  With the first bow tie pasta I picked from the huge platter, I instantly fell in love.  I could imagine the chef slaving over a mortar and pestle – all the way from Romblon – making the basil pesto from scratch.  Only a fresh and intensely flavored pesto could conjure that image in my head.  It was mixed well with the mushroom cream sauce, coating every piece of pasta.  For presentation and added flavor, a dollop sat right on top at the center.

The mushroom cream sauce perfectly tempered the full-bodied purity of the basil pesto.  The dish had a liberal amount of sliced fresh mushrooms – lots of shiitakes, white buttons, and oysters – that I was sure to hit thick and juicy slices of these fleshy fungi everytime I stuck my fork through.  The very generous dusting of freshly grated parmesan cheese only managed to elevate the dish to an astral plane all its own.  But I managed to remain on the ground as the faint hint of nutmeg in the cream sauce reminded me of Christmas.

I’ve never been one to salivate over pasta with a cream-based sauce.  But Cibo’s Farfalle Genovese eradicated whatever shred of skepticism I had.

My first glass of their tomato juice!

Before long I already needed a second glass!

Notice the freshly cracked black pepper on top! Just got to love this drink!

To wash everything down, I had Tomato Juice (Php 90.00) – all two tall glasses of it!  I love tomato juice, the only drink I would keep on asking for on board flights.  While all people shamelessly gulped down all the free champagne that flowed incessantly – in an obvious attempt to take passengers’ minds off the frightening turbulence on a Malaysia-to-Singapore flight – I just asked for my glass to be freshened with tomato juice!  Cibo’s presentation was lovely, complete with a celery stick and freshly cracked black pepper on top.  I like all the quiet drama involved with freshly cracking black pepper tableside.  I would often wonder if the pepper mills were part of the restaurateur’s famed collection.

Kakel's Penne All' Amado. He ate this all up!

While I shared my farfalle with him, Kakel for his part ordered the Penne All’ Amado (penne with slow simmered beef sauce and tomatoes, Php 218.00).  It was the first time I heard of it, and while the description was pretty straightforward, I couldn’t help but assume that the dish could have been named after the owner’s son.  For his drink, Kakel asked for peach-flavored iced tea (Php 90.00).

I wanted to have my favorite Panna Cotta Ciccolato, but decided against it for the time being as Starbucks was part of the dinner plan.

A couple of Dark Cherry Mochas!

In this one, I like the watch better than the drink. Hahaha!

So off we went to Starbucks and ordered two Dark Cherry Mochas.  “I shall have my Cibo panna cotta on the following night,” I told myself.  The two stickers I got for the coffee drinks were enough to make up for it.

And the great conversation too!

Kakel by the Rustan's display window at Town.

Copyright © 2009 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MuchTime™©.  All rights reserved.



One response

30 11 2009

i miss the Farfalle Genovese paired with the red grape drink. and i miss rustan’s ATC too – i remember you “got lost” there when i had to meet up with someone you didn’t want to see and then you just met up with me again to have dinner at italianni’s 🙂


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