Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cibo Trattoria

Cibo Trattoria & Uva Wine Bar on Urbanspoon
Came back tonight from Cibo Trattoria in the Moda Hotel. Another overpriced meal. Excellent food mostly and deserving of the various awards it's garnered since opening in 2009, but the price tag was frightening.

Here's the damage:
$5 Sicilian Pannelle (3 triangles)
$8 Crispy Pig's Trotters (3 pieces plus token coleslaw-like salad)
$5 Fried Egg and Tuna Bottarga Bruschetta
$55 Truffle Quail (quail with some potato and, apparently, enough truffle to price it at $55)
$24 Two glasses of white wine
$8 Chocolate Nemesis "River Cafe"

After tax it was $119.84 !

The Pannelle was delicate and interesting to try if you've never had it before. Fresh from the fryer, it was very cripsy on the outside and spiced enough to be salty and tasty all on its own. The inside was hot and creamy with some rosemary (?). Overall, definitely finger food and not for the ham-fisted as you'd just destroy it. Pick it up not too close to the end or the crust will just snap off. When you bite, you can quite gently tear off a chunk.
I would have to say this appy was the highlight of my night -- delicious, and with interesting, sharply contrasting, texture. At $5 for 3 wedges each about two square inches, it's the only item that I thought was priced fairly, or a bit underpriced considering how good it was.

The Pig's Trotters were fritters with chunks of reddish meat and other stuff inside. It definitely tasted like pork, but also had a fatty taste to it. Not too special here. The salad that looks like coleslaw had capers in it, and helped to offset the fattiness with sharp sourness. I recommend giving this one a pass.

The Bruschetta plates are single-slices of french bread maybe 30% bigger than your credit card and cut about a centimeter thick. Averaging $5 each, that's steep. I was intrigued by the tuna bottarga and ordered it. The fried egg was very conveniently done, with a yolk that was soft, but not so soft that it dribbled all over the place if you cut it -- which we did so I could share it with my dining companion. The red and grated bottarga (preserved roe pouch) had a hint of tuna smell, but otherwise predominantly salty. They could have just dusted the egg with fancy sea salt and it wouldn't have been too much different. At $5? -- Give this a pass.

My companion ordered just the wine and quail for herself. The quail was so small I declined to have any of it, so I can't comment. Hopefully she appreciated the truffles as it weighed in at a frightening $55. It's not on the online menu, but rather on a separate menu of truffled items.

The "Chocolate Nemesis 'River Cafe'" was a thin wedge of flourless chocolate cake, accompanied by a tablespoon of stiff sour cream. It was creamy, more like a ganache. Not the best I've tasted, but decent enough. My dining companion raved about it, however. At $8 it's not bad value.

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