I don’t know what authentic pasta Italiana tastes like. So if a restaurant claims their recipe is passed on from one Neapolitan generation to the next, I would take their word for it.
What I know, however, is what good food should taste like. (Read also: RESTAURANT REVIEW | CIBO: A place that renews)
And then there’s Cibo. My partner-in-crime has already waxed poetic about the restaurant, the minimalism that pervades the whole place so that diners can concentrate on the food.
Because with food as good as the ones in Cibo, you don’t need gimmicks. No singing waiters. No jumping mascots. No waiters wrapped in towels.
Partner ordered fish. I ordered pasta. Specifically, linguini al foresta. For sharing, we ordered beef tenderloin served on a hot plate.
The linguini came with the classic al foresta ingredients: bacon, black olives, stewed tomatoes, and generous helping of parmesan cheese.
The pasta was cooked al dente, with just the right spring between your teeth. No soggy noodles here.
The combination of ingredients allowed the dish to shine through. The saltiness of the bacon and parmesan, the brine from the olives, and umami and sourness of the tomatoes all combined to bring out the flavors the dish. There is a delicate balance of salty, and umami that there was absolutely no need for anything else. It is a perfect dish, that linguini.
And then the sliced beef tenderloin. It was served in a literally hot ceramic plate, the meat cooked medium rare, with a drizzle of oil, some garlic, and sprinking of rosemary. Divine.
The light seasoning did not overpower the natural flavors of the meat so that one can actually savor combination of the flavors — the herbs, the beef, the garlic — that absolutely just bursts in the mouth. Dish is served with a pillowy soft foccacia bread. Best used as sponge for the savory garlicky juice left behind by the tenderloin.
At this point, I believe I would have to digress a bit and say that I have been waiting for Chef Gaita Fores’ restaurant to open since that huge poster bearing the four iconic letters was teasing us about its presence pre-pandemic.
COVID-19 might have sidetracked the opening of the famous resto, but it merely just whetted the appetite.
Is it worth the wait? Well, is the Pope Catholic?
Worth the visit, worth the wait.
And it looks like Cibo is here to stay.