First Look: Cibo Wine Bar opens midtown restaurant at iconic Centro address


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Cibo Wine Bar has expanded their local reach to a midtown hub once notorious for upscale Italian. Formerly, Armando Mano’s Centro and most recently, Vita Sociale

Image: Jason Finestone

Cibo Wine Bar has expanded their local reach to a midtown hub once notorious for upscale Italian. Formerly, Armando Mano’s Centro and most recently, Vita Sociale the sprawling 10,000 sq ft dining room has been transformed into the fourth location by Liberty Entertainment Group. 

Their signature Crystal Head Vodka wall will greet you upon entry to the 200 seat main dining room. The space encompasses two floors including a large bar and lounge area, designed by Nadia Di Donato, Liberty Entertainment Group’s creative director. Features like their open kitchen and glass encased, 64-degree climate controlled, soundproof 2,500 bottle wine room provide plenty of ocular intrigue. Commissioned art by graffiti icon Mr. Brainwash brandish several walls. His piece “Life is Beautiful” stands as the motto for Cibo and the mantra of Nadia and husband Nick Di Donato, president and CEO of the organization. 

 
Cibo wine bar has a sprawling 10,000 sq ft dining room and towering wine room.

 

“The idea is always to be doing the positive thing,” explains Nick over a drag of Amarone and a bite of Italian prosciutto shaved from their $25,000 Berkel slicer. “It’s the message in the art as much as in the food and service we try to provide.”

 
Cibo's $25,000 hand-cranked Berkel meat slicer from Switzerland shaves proscuitto to near translucent gauge

 

18 wines by the glass and over 180 labels to choose from will start off the evening. Make sure to keep an eye out as your “wine angel” hoists herself up by harness to snag a bottle from the towering wine room. By the glass options can be kept for 30 days post corkage thanks to their Enomatic dispensing system.

 
Whole pesce del giorno (MP), in this case a branzino, is oven baked and dressed in olive oil, lemon and parsley. 

 

The menu at Cibo Yonge St. is a model of the King West location. Executive chef Severio Marci’s handmade pastas are hung to dry on racks by the open kitchen. Their pizza oven radiates a warm glow along a portion of the 45-ft long white marble counter top. There is no freezer to be found, ensuring that all ingredients are brought in fresh.

 
Fresh, housemade papardelle features a hearty slow cooked lamb ragu, topped with pecorino.

 

Dredge fresh baked bread sprinkled with rosemary through pools of olive oil and balsamic or top warm slices with pickled chilies. Dunk polenta fries into Gorgonzola sauce or a spicy marinara dip. Deeply flavoured parpadelle with slow cooked lamb ragu topped with shaved pecorino pays homage to Nick’s hometown of San Nicola Baronia in Naples. The catch of the day – baked whole fish – included a crisp-skinned branzino done simply with lemon, parsley and EVOO.

 
Caprese pizza ($17) pairs tart cherry tomatoes with silky boconcini, nutty arugula and sharp grana padano.

 

Lobster Tuesdays can be had at all locations – $22 for a fresh, whole lobster three ways. Thursday’s feature a happy hour from 4-7pm and Sunday brunch is soon to come – a $35 prix fixe menu with accompanying Prosecco. 

 
Cibos' roasted lobster dish 

 

Cibo Wine Bar is open 7 days a week from 11:30am until close. The kitchen bell rings at midnight, but the bar will remain open until the last midtown wine lover decides it’s time to saunter home.

Cibo Wine Bar, 2472 Yonge St., 416-925-0016

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Jason is a freelance food and travel writer and the Chief Experience Officer at U-Feast, a website to discover unique, off-menu dining experiences. A lover of dumplings, noodle soups and schmaltz, his ethnically inclined palate is constantly searching for the next flavour wave in Toronto and beyond. Find him on Instagram @finest_one and on Twitter @j_finestone.

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