Whenever I suggest eating at Cibo to some folks, they just have a cunning way of changing the topic or pretending that I was speaking on mute mode.
Whatever the reason is, I've figured out that they would rather dunk their Chicken McNuggets in BBQ sauce than dunk their bread in EVOO + balsamic vinegar, but I cannot give in to the triumph of fast food. Fast food and cheap restaurants have created that niche we call pasta abomination, and for that, I cannot forgive you that easily. For an industry that has given rise to soggy pasta, fake parmesan cheese, vegetable oil pesto, carbonara made of cream, sweet spaghetti and worst of all, sweet spaghetti with hotdog, you should surrender to the Italian police.
End these food crimes, and stop feeding us MSG and week-old noodles. If I wanted something soft, I'd have gone for mashed potatoes. And if I wanted hotdogs, I would've gone to a ball game!
Unfortunately I live in Quezon City, not Sicily, so I have to make do with what's around. Landing in Trinoma one Saturday, hungry and deprived of nutrients, we decided to visit the least visited place where we knew no lines existed: CIBO. I thought of just ordering a salad, but when I realized my need for sustenance, the carbs suddenly popped out of the menu. Actually it was more of pleading, and I was more than happy to oblige.
Pasta violations are certainly banned from the confines of Cibo, as we are assured of al dente pasta and real parmesan cheese. There is also an abundant supply of balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and chili. In here, we are shielded from the dangers of vegetable cooking oil and Eden cheese, and if espresso were as cheap as tea, I believe they'd serve house espresso as well.
The Spaghetti Estivi falls under the vegetarian portion with its minimalist content: arugula and fresh tomatoes. Majority of the people I know would probably hate it and go for a McSpaghetti, but I would prefer this light dish. It veers from the sour-canned-tomato taste and relies on the fresh flavor of the tomatoes and garlic. Actually it was a bit too light for my abysmal appetite, but I feared that ordering a family serving might warrant stares from the waiters. Again. For fear of another public debacle, I've decided to go with this bambino serving and hope the pizza could fill the hunger void.
I will never understand why my hermano went for the Linguine il Giallo as this is one of those dishes that my eyes skip in the menu and pretend never existed. If people would ignore my Spaghetti Estivi, they would question this squash flower - anchovy cream pasta. When his order came, I didn't even have the sibling temptation to fork out a noodle. I just stared as he ate his meal sans the parmesan, claiming that the anchovy made it salty enough. While he seemingly enjoyed another light dish, it was not that extraordinary. I suppose with squash flowers as the highlight of the dish, we shouldn't really expect an ooh-la-la frenzy, just "I had my vegetable serving from this meal. Great, on to the pizza."
It doesn't take a bambino to figure out that this pizza's main man is the zucchini (plus, it's got goat cheese). Now if you don't know what zucchini is, then you're better off having that McSpaghetti with Hamburglar. Off with you! For those who do not only know zucchini, but like it as well, then join the club. This pizza's the perfect partner for the pasta, plus the crust is unbelievably crisp, you'd want to dunk it on EVOO and balsamic vinegar and finish it off until the crust. There is no overbearing flavor or that doughy attitude we hate from commercial pizzas, this one's straight from the Italian oven and deserves one grande burp!
When another pasta fest will be, only my wallet could tell. Where it would be, there's a chance it'll be at Cibo.
I'll squash anyone who orders the squash flowers though.