I adore Italian food. In fact, it’s my favorite right after Asian cuisine.
When I was invited to the soft opening of a new Italian restaurant, Cibo E Beve (pronounced Chee-boh e Bevay), in Sandy Springs, GA I was giddy with excitement. This new restaurant is the new venture of 101 Concepts, serving up authentic Italian dishes made with local produce and ingredients.
I arrived early at Cibo E Beve since we had a 6pm sharp seating, and I’m freakishly paranoid about Atlanta traffic. Since I was a few minutes early, I happily took a seat at the bar and had a quick chat with a couple of their bartenders. Can I mention how cute they are? If you get a chance to go to Cibo E Beve, make sure to visit Justin Hadaway at the bar – he is one brilliant mixologist!
Speaking of cocktails, I didn’t know what to order (I’m more of a wine girl), so the bartender mixed up an Aviation for me (shown below on left). I’m usually not a huge fan of gin, but this cocktail was delicious and refreshing, made up of gin, Crème de Violette, Luxardo marschino liquor and fresh lemon juice. On the right is the Speakeasy Sour: bourbon, egg whites, fresh lemon, simple syrup, and a thin layer of red wine on top.
I must mention how good the service was. Our waiter Erdem was fantastic! He was really knowledgeable about the menu and was very attentive. He was also just a really great guy, we loved him at our table!
On to the food! I ordered the Caesar salad, on the surface it may seem a bit boring compared to the local figs wrapped in prosciutto, mussels and lamb belly selections but since I am pescetarian, my menu choices were a bit limited. But, let me tell you about this Caesar salad. It made of two different ages of romaine lettuce (baby and teenage) and topped with a poached farm egg crouton. Usually poached eggs make me queasy, but on top of this salad, it worked. And it was awesome.
For entrees, many of us chose the Roasted Alaskan Halibut Genovese, served with toasted baby yukon potatoes, baby carrots, pignoli (pine nuts) and lemon verbena basil butter. It was amazing. Quite possibly one of the best fish dishes I have ever eaten. Granted, it was a bit dry but I like my food less saucy than most people.
My favorite part of this meal: dessert. Now, I would choose savory over sweet any day, but these red velvet zeppole were heaven in little balls. Dip them in the white chocolate mascarpone cream and just, wow.
I didn’t know what zeppole were, but it was my lucky day, I was sitting next to Rossana who grew up in New Jersey and knew all about zeppole so I got a fascinating lesson about these delightful fried balls. Now, getting a bag of zeppole on the boardwalk at Coney Island is on my bucketlist. Here is Rosanna snapping a quick photo of my zeppole.
Getting to share this experience with new and old friends only made this dinner better. New friend, Monica, also ordered the red velvet zeppole. Gotta shake that bag up so that the zeppole is covered well with powdered sugar!
Cibo E Beve is going to be a delightful addition to the Sandy Springs neighborhood. I will be visiting again, next time with Paul in tow. He loves Italian food more than I do and I’m looking forward to introducing him to Cibo E Beve.
Cibo E Beve
4969 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30342
Full Disclosure: Thank you to Cibo E Beve for the dinner, drinks and hospitality. And thank you to Patricia Tinsley of Goliath Consulting Group for the invitation.