Hi readers! I’m aware that it’s been a very long time since I’ve written about food. Trust me when I say that it doesn’t mean that my love for food has abated any less, nor have my taste buds just about dropped out of my mouth and left me due to all the abuse I inflict on it.
Summerlicious and Winterlicious have long been staples of the city, drawing me to Toronto long before I could feasibly imagine living here. The prospect of expensive food at hella cheap prices lured me, along with the possibility of my taste buds being mind blown by the work of true professionals at work. As I have grown older however, I have also grown more spoilt; for instance, I can now name at least three varieties of red wine
(I exaggerate but do I, really?).
Taking advantage of this knowledge on a fantastically sunny afternoon, I sipped at my
$7 glass of Chianti. Greeted by a lovely server who reminded me of Missandei from
‘Game of Thrones,’ (this is a gross estimation, I’m usually terrible at these things) the aura in the restaurant felt light and relaxed. You could tell the servers were probably relieved after a lunch rush; for instance, Missandei got serenaded with ‘Marry You’ by Bruno Mars by another waiter, so there was that.
Our first visitor to the table, the housemade and cured Atlantic Salmon, arrived served with blood orange, pink peppercorns, and microgreens. The microgreens turned out to be more of a wet fennel salad doused in vinaigrette that provided a nicely crunchy element; while the blood orange (that I mistook as pomelo) added a lovely citrus to the dish with a touch of fleur de sel delicately sprinkled about the plate to offset its sweetness.
The salmon was prepared perfectly, and almost sashimi-like in its freshness, but admittedly a bit overwhelmed by its companions. Nevertheless, I ended up admitting to my lunch mate that I was in a relationship with this dish (as I was with almost every other dish that I’ve loved in my life, so far). Bread (not warm, alas, but still appreciated) was also provided, but was unfortunately a bit greasy and salty with fleur de sel vigorously sprinkled on top. You could really tell they liked their salt here.
Next, the pizza, a Napoli vegetarian with tomato, various cheeses, garlic, and oregano. The crust was frankly the best part of the whole pizza as the rest of it (as you can probably tell) was a little bit plain and overall too subtle for my liking. The dough however, you could tell, was fired in a brick oven, saving the pizza from otherwise apparent disgrace and raising its standard from mediocre to eh, this is pretty good. The bright chunks of tomato also provided some much needed brightness to the pizza, and the portion was generous; leftovers are basically music to a student’s ears.
Finally, the desserts, because what would a good Italian meal be without them? Seeking out to be a little bit more adventurous, I ordered the Italian Trifle, served with strawberry mascarpone cream and white chocolate shavings. Sadly, the dessert was the weakest part of the whole meal, with not much variety between the different layers. The mascarpone cream, instead of being light, was rather heavy, resembling more of a greek yogurt than anything else. I disappointingly tried not to eye my neighbour’s gelato too much as he wolfed it down.
During Summerlicious, one always hopes to be introduced to a revelation, a food experience they’d want to talk about for a while afterwards. CIBO Wine Bar sadly, although solid, falls just short of satisfying my foodie expectations; although you do get what you’d expect for $18, which is a moderately safe and enjoyable experience.
From the Author:
Along with being a designer/artist by day, I also love wondering what and where I'm going to eat next. I'll go out and eat with you - just don't call me a 'foodie.'