Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cibo, Phoenix

Cool atmosphere at Cibo
I had internet and a computer at the hotel tonight, so I figured I might as well post about the first pies of the trip.
My mom and I visited Cibo, in Phoenix. While not in Italy, I have to say that it was really amazing. I was very impressed with the atmosphere and the pies. Tomorrow morning is my flight to Italy and this was a perfect meal to get me excited about all the deliciousness that awaits me.
The restaurant is in an old house which adds a touch of comfort to the dining experience. We actually sat outside in the front yard next to a gnarly looking tree that had some really cool grape-vine christmas lights (a good gift for the wino in your life). A white cat greeted us and curled near our feet for much of the meal.

Happy to be having the first pie of the trip.
My mom ordered a glass of pinot grigio (her favorite) while I chose the primitivo from Puglia. I'll be in Puglia for a about a week on this trip so I figured I should start to get used to the palate of the region. Primitivo (referred to as zinfandel in the US) is one of the most widely produced grapes in the world and the same goes for Italy. Typically, its made into a wine that has high acidity and alcohol content. The glass at Cibo matched those characteristics.
The Rustica at Cibo
For pizza, my mom ordered the Vegetariana (tomato, mozz, mushroom, artichoke, zucchini, roasted red pepper), while I ordered the Rustica (mozz, prosciutto, arugula, shaved parm). The crust had an amazing leopard-spotted crust. The cornicione was as lofty as I like but the flavor was excellent. A lightness to the dough texture that was equalled by a slight nuttiness in the flavor.
I managed to polish off my pie easily and nearly ate half my mom's! Guess I'm getting ready for all those miles on the bike. After a few bites I also realized how amazing and relaxing it is to SIT AND EAT PIZZA. I estimate that I've made about 250 pizzas this summer at my house during many parties and events. Nearly every one of those nights involved me eating a bite here or there and sometimes not eating any pizza at all. I'm not at all complaining because I feel in my element when working the peel, but how refreshing it was to sit and enjoy a glass of wine, pizza, and conversation with my mom.

After dinner, I told the staff of my trip and I asked to check out the oven. Unfortunately, the  head pizzaiolo was not in but the guys in the kitchen were very accomodating.
Backstage at Cibo.
The oven was imported from Italy. Its a modular oven (ie the dome is made of 3 or 4 large ceramic pieces rather than individual bricks). Modular ovens are a little more sturdy but I think they lack some of the artistry that come from brick ovens. But hey, the pies were great so I don't want to be too critical of the oven choice.
Well, off to bed... big day tomorrow.


  1. Looks Awesome Man, wish i was in Flag for that!

  2. Hi,

    My name is Guido and I am the pizaiolo at Cibo, thanks for the compliments and when you are back in phoenix stop by... i am in the kitchen most of the time.

    You can reach me at cibophoenix@hotmail.com