Posts with tag "cibo trattoria"

Bittered Sling Bistro

Bittered Sling Bistro is the brainchild of Kale & Nori’s Lauren Mote and Chef Jonathan Chovancek. It’s a cocktail food pairing competition which brings together this city’s most talented and popular bartenders together. The bartenders must create cocktails that best suits each dish of a set menu and the guests then judge the dinner.

Before the actual dinner, we are greeted in the beautiful magnificent foyer of Legacy Liquor Store (one of the best looking liquor stores in town!). We are handed with a cocktail created by Lauren and nibbled on a few hors d’oeuvres freshly made on the spot by Jonathan. The hors d’oeuvres of the night were spiced nettle crisps with black garlic, radish and and sheep milk feta then a delicate spoonful of black chickpea puree with sesame, yogurt and mint

It was an interactive and entertaining affair with the charming Lauren as hostess.  She introduced the liquor choice for the dinner was Okanagan Spirits. The effervescent and talented Evelyn Chick of UVA Wine Bar was our bartender of the night.

Side note: I lost my notes on the cocktails :-( but I do vividly recall that I felt her cocktails paired well with each dish.

The first dish that paired was the unique fiddlehead, chorizo pork belly, and pickled red mustard sabayon

As with any good pork belly, it was tender, moist, and melted in your mouth.  I think it was my first time trying fiddlehead and it’s actually a pretty hearty side dish vegetable.

The second dish of the night was the delectable halibut in smoky west coast dashi with wild rice, roasted mushroom, and quinoa crust.

The fish was flaky and delicate.  The whole plate seemed just so healthy and fresh with each bite.

And of course to cap off the night, there was dessert

It was a sweet and tart dessert of preserved quince, caramelized, lemon meringue, maple granola caramel.

Though out the night, Evelyn would talk about her inspiration for the drink and why she picked certain elements to match with the dish.  After we finished noshing on our dessert, we each got a mini survey and rated how well the cocktails paired with the food.

On April 30, the blackbox finale competition was held at Ginger 62. After months of dinners and drinks, the announced finalists were the creme of the crop of Vancouver bartending:

Grant Sceney, The Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver BC
Gerry Jobe, Raudz Regional Table, Kelowna BC
Jay Jones, Market by Jean-Georges and The Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver BC
David Wolowidnyk, West Restaurant, Vancouver BC
Evelyn Chick, UVA Wine Bar and Cibo Trattoria, Vancouver BC
Danielle Tatarin, The Keefer Bar

There was the blackbox showdown rounds where the bartenders had a mysterious ‘blackbox’/black paper wrapped liquor to choose from a table of ingredients and bitters. Then it came to the grand finale between Evelyn and Gerry!  By the end of the series and the night, Gerry of Raudz Regional Table came out victorious!

The second series of this competition starts soon! So better book your spot to have an intimate cocktail food pairing dinner with your favourite bartender.

Kale and Nori – Bittered Sling Bistro

Legacy Liquor Store

Ginger 62
1219 Granville St
Ginger Sixty Two ( 62 ) on Urbanspoon

Italiano at Cibo Trattoria

After my Europe trip and eating my way through Italy, my standard for good Italian food is pretty high. Since coming back from France and Italy, I haven’t been keen in trying an Italian place in Vancouver. But hearing about a place that has won various ‘Best of’ awards piqued my interest.

Cibo Trattoria won EnRoute and Where’s Magazine Best New Restaurant of 2009 in Canada.  I was excited and apprehensive about trying it.  Even though it won these prestigious awards, there has also been a flutter of negative reviews.

The first thing I noticed about the restaurant is it has a very dominant monochromatic colour scheme to with a touch of ‘Urban Barn’.

My Europe travel mate and I  were immediately served seasoned salt focaccia bread which was soft and tasty

For the main meal, we decided to order the set menu and a extra dish to share. We started off with the ‘pork trotter’ cakes on salad and the Fritto Misto (deep fried vegetables)

The Pork Trotter cakes dish was like minced pork croquette and the Fritto Misto tasted like it was deep fried in fish & chips batter. Even though these were just starters, it was too greasy and heavy for me.

But the kitchen redeemed itself with the truly amazing gnocchi alla romana, sage butter, and parmesan.

With each bite, we replied ‘THIS IS SO GOOD’. It was very soft with the incorporation of cheese in it and it just melted in your mouth.

Next came the Insalata di Ceci e Tonno (think that was the name) which was tuna and marinated chickpeas salad. It was a light and tangy salad but we were pretty full by now and unfortunately couldn’t finish it.

For dessert, we went for the baked quince in marsala, cinnamon, and orange. We thought it wouldn’t be too rich and be easy on our stomaches but nope.

Quince is like the love child of an apple and pear. So I thought it would be nice and tart to cut through the heavy food we just eaten but it was also as heavy…and really sweet. The accompanying creme fraiche helped counter it though. My suggestion to Cibo is that they add some fancy exotic gelato or sorbetto to the menu to cleanse the palette after a rich dinner.

To be honest, I would not have ordered the dishes that we had except for the winning gnocchi. The dishes seemed plain and flavours weren’t memorable. I know these are classic Italian fare but there was something missing from them.

The wait staff was nice and friendly, but not very attentive. It seemed like because we did not look and dress ‘the part’ we got less service. We noticed that they were paying way more attention to the other ‘well to do’ diners.

Even with the less than stellar experience, I would go back again to try the other divine dishes on the menu.  It has great decor and is the perfect setting for a first date.  And there must be a reason why it was voted Best Restaurant right?

Cibo Trattoria
900 Seymour Street
Cibo Trattoria on Urbanspoon