Wood-fired pizzas and a summer sea breeze | Cibo

As the hot summer sun dips below the horizon, Rachel Agius ventures out to check out Cibo, in the Tigne Point piazza for a slice of cosmopolitan life. 

1 August 2015, 12:47pm
Summer is about sunshine, swimming and slowing down just a little as the temperature climbs. If, like me, you prefer to leave the hot midday hours to the brave tourists, the evenings come with a breeze, a leisurely walk and a bite to eat. 

Cibo sits on the Tigne Point piazza, a small slice of what a cosmopolitan city would look like if we had one. Kids playing in the water fountain and the hum of diners and shoppers milling about make for a pleasant backdrop to the eatery’s outdoor area. A welcome cross-breeze, with a faint hint of the sea, means that even on the warmest evenings, there is little risk of overheating. 

Although we sat outside, Cibo’s interior should not be ignored. With a feature wall covered in famous quotes about food and the wood oven protected by a giant brass face, jaws agape, the inside looks as though it would be a cozy retreat during the colder months. 

With such emphasis on a wood-burning oven, it made perfect sense to try out the pizzas. This decision was also helped along by the satisfied sounds other diners made as they bit into their first slice. 

We started off with some bruschetta to share. A simple, perfectly Mediterranean beginning to the meal that saw a small mozzarella di Bufala wrapped in a delightfully salty slice of Parma ham with a sort of balsamic vinegar glaze. I must admit at having felt a little hurt that only three pieces arrived, forcing me and my companion to really reevaluate our relationship as we debated who would get what, before we finally agreed on splitting the last slice very carefully down the middle. We could not bear to separate one ingredient from its friends. 

 After our plates were cleared away and we were just starting to get anxious – our fellow diners’ dishes made it difficult to focus on conversation – the pizzas arrived. 

My capriciosa – a trusted choice - arrived along with a ‘del bosco’ pizza. The former was a solid performance, an utterly satisfying take on an old favourite. The latter combined Parmesan cheese with walnuts and mushrooms and I was glad I could convince my companion to barter a slice or two. 

Some pizza crusts are relegated to the side of the plate, abandoned in favour of less heavy, less filling pizza regions, in order to optimize the stomach volume to pizza ratio. The crust here suffered no such fate. Light and airy, the dough was not simply part of the pizza’s architecture, there to hold things together, but a delight in itself. The middle also remained dry, avoiding the sogginess that sometimes plagues an inferior creation.

On both pizzas, the thin brown skin on the mushrooms belied the freshness of the ingredients – nothing came from a can or a freezer and it was pretty obvious that a great deal of care went into making our relatively uncomplicated meal. 

Lightness of the dough aside, we felt too full to attempt dessert, although the menu offered a small but tempting selection. A walk by the sea was just the thing, giving us a chance to digest our pleasant evening and decide to put Cibo down on our ‘will visit again’ list. 

Cibo is open daily from 12:00 – 16:00 and 18:00 – 23:00.