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Restaurant Feature: Cibo

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At Cibo Restaurant (1012 17 Ave. S.W.) – which means “food” in Italian, and is pronounced CHEE-BOH – traditional dining rules do not apply.

The casual sister restaurant to the more upper-scale Bonterra Trattoria on 8th Street, Cibo opened it’s doors in 2012 as an everyday spot for everyday food.

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“We’re not a traditional restaurant,” says Cibo general manager Stephen Hamelin. “Every food item on our menu is made to share, and we try to encourage people to pick from each other’s dishes and do just that,” he says.

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With a large selection of appetizers to choose from – like buffalo mozzarella, bruschetta and ricotta, to pigtails and pork ribs – the restaurant’s dining concept is quite simple: casual and approachable, with menu items that are meant to be shared, family-style.

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“We wanted to make a restaurant where a family of teachers with two kids could afford to eat out every week,” he says. “Our dream was to make great food approachable to everybody while also getting you excited to go out.”

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Cibo’s approachable price-point means you can afford to eat there weekly, while the service, flavour and quality keep you coming back for more: “Friendly, flavour-driven and value are three words that help define the dining experience at Cibo,” says Hamelin.

“We’re proud to use local suppliers whenever possible – we feel to be Italian isn’t to import everything from Italy, but rather to use the best of what’s around you, to create Italian-inspired dishes.”

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Cibo Urbano Cucina is quite possibly one of the roomiest eateries that you’ll experience on 17th Avenue, and the space is sure to impress.

With room for 230 people indoors and 50 more on the patio, Cibo is big, busy and regularly bustling. “There’s something about this location that we absolutely love,” says Hamelin. “Being in the heart of 17th Ave is exciting – it’s a very busy, iconic street, and the size of this space is awesome.”

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Once an auto supply store, followed most recently by a Rogers video shop, the two-storey brick building built in the 1900s “was never fitted to be a restaurant,” says Hamelin.

“When we pulled back the space, we found original Medicine Hat Brick Co. terracotta brick tiles and original hardwood floors from 1915,” he says. “We incorporated reclaimed wood throughout and parts of our flooring is pine beetle-infected lodgepole pine from Rocky Mountain House which were fused into tiles.”

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The huge, open-concept kitchen in one section of the main floor handles Cibo’s Italian menu with a large wood-burning pizza oven, which can accommodate up to 10 pizzas at one time.

“Pizza has been the one thing that we’ve wanted to be famous for since day one,” exclaims Hamelin. “Since we average around 221 pizzas a day, I think it’s safe to say Calgary loves our pizza.”

And we couldn’t agree more.

Visit Cibo at 1012 17 Ave. S.W., and stay up to date on new menus and events by following them online:

Twitter: @CiboCalgary

Facebook: Facebook.com/CiboCalgary

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