August 14, 2011
Cibo e Beve
Adventures in Italian Snacking on Roswell Road
By Nancy Staab
Like it’s moniker, Cibo e Beve (translation: “food and drinks”), the new resto concept from the Food 101 team, just doors down from Food 101 on Roswell Rd. in Sandy Springs, is primed for early or late-night snacking in addition to full-on lunch and dinner menus.
Hearty Italian dishes, many with a Tuscan accent, reign at exec. chef Linda Harrell’s (formerly of Antica Posta) new spot. Savor toothsome, Southern-meets-Italian orecchiette with turnips greens, local farms sausage and asiago; hand-cut papardelle with wild boar Bolognese; rigatoni gorgonzola and milk-fed veal Milanese. There’s also some piscatorial offerings for the red meat-avering like lobster spaghetti and a voluptuous butter-poached scallops with confit shallot risotto and white chocolate veloute that sounds like something off a gilded menu from a Jay McInerney ‘80s novel. Indeed, this white-on-white dish is pretty divine. However, the menu is equally friendly for the snacking and late-night crowd, with its small-bite Italian snacks like the addictive Cibo meatballs, grilled Roman artichokes, local figs with prosciutto and gorgonzola, and Harrell’s signature saffron-scented arancini, as well as handcrafted pizzas (try the Four Formaggi) crisped in a wood-fire oven—all of which can be consumed at the white marble anti-pasti bar until 2 AM.
The zinc topped main bar is equally rocking, helmed by mixologist Justin Hadaway, who offers his own twists on cocktail classics like The Houdini (aka Erik Weisz) and The Dark and Stormy (updated with rooibos, a South African red bush tea). Hadaway is also doing rad things with ice cubes, not only hand chipping them from a block, but smoking them with a self-made contraption and cigarette lighter (!) for his Georgian inspired Chatham County Line concoction. This is a campfire-smoky, pecan-infused whiskey drink served with Savannah Sour wood honey syrup and grade B maple syrup and Georgia peach slice to add some sweetness to this manly sip. Hadaway also slips a sly ice cube of Guinness Stout into his Dublin Down drink of Fernet Branca and Mexican Coca-Cola. The anecdotal cocktail menu sprinkled with libation lore is a delight to read. We are particularly fond of the No Sex in the Rainbow Room tipple, which makes an allusion to the pop singer Madonna, and the Mark Twain-- the London drink recipe that the famous author instructed his dutiful wife, via letter, to have ready in the bathroom when he arrived home. Italian and American wines round out the drink menu. We also love the endlessly looping reel of movie classics (all featuring drinking scenes) on the projection TV in the bar. An intimate, woodsy-chic décor by ai3 will particularly suit this bar and its hearty menu in the fall/winter seasons.
This just in: Cibo now offers a novel SATURDAY brunch from 11:30 to 2:30 every weekend. Think: Italian-style eggs benedict topped with smoked duck breast, wilted spinach, semolina toast and reggiano cream; seasonal frittatas; a brunch pizza with farm eggs, bacon and heirloom tomatoes; and of course Cibo's main-menu classics like Meatball Parmigiana sandwiches and fabulous pastas. www.ciboatlanta.com, 404.250.8988
Below amateur photos from a recent Cibo e Beve dinner:
Hamachi Crudo Salmoriglio
Marghertia and Quattro Formaggi Pizzas
Butter Poached Scallps with confit shallot risotto, white chocolate veloute, popcorn shoots