I was pretty excited to try out this much-hyped spot in downtown Vancouver, conveniently located across from the Orpheum Theatre. Make no mistake though, this is NOT like the Pink Door in Seattle, nor is it like Giorgios in Banff or any of the other memorable Italian Restaurants we have had the pleasure to try.
The staff was friendly enough but no one-person was amazing. We sat at the bar to enjoy a drink before moving to a table. A $14 Mai Tai served in a tiny rocks glass with no garnish, straw, swizzle or cocktail napkin. LAME. Where's the WOW factor Cibo? In a world filled with choices, why on earth would we come back to a place steeped in such mediocrity? Despite sitting at the bar, the server scurried off to the back, disappearing for an extended time before reappearing with this cocktail many, many minutes later. To have to ask for a straw for a woman who is wearing lipstick and a dress is extremely mediocre. To have to ask for a cocktail napkin after that so that we didn't drip on our clothes is pretty much inexcusable. Is this what service is like in an amazing Trattoria? No. No, it isn't. Drink service: 3 out of 10.
The food was good. We had Arctic Char and Duck, respectively. Both were well plated, prepared and presented....but the portions were typical of a fine-dining restaurant. Small, expensive & artsy. Again NOT Trattoria-style dining by any definition. This is a fine-dining restaurant disguised as a Trattoria. Don't even get me started on the presentation of the Tiramisu (LAME) Food: 6.5 out of 10
The service was very ordinary. There were gaps, big ones in our servers presence with us and although being quite knowledgeable, she was average (sorry, you were nice but just 'ok') When asked for fresh pepper (none was offered with our bruschetta or mains) we were given a a dual-dish ramekin with salt on one side and pepper on the other, accompanied by a demitasse spoon for administering said spice to our food (tricky). This dish looked used and that fear was qualified when, half way through our meals, the server asked if we still needed it, then removed it from our table only to stroll it on over to a neighbouring table. Gag. (LAME)
The ambiance was not bad. The music was at the perfect volume and of a good fit. The lighting was way too bright for a dinner service but like magic, it was turned way down immediately after commenting on it to my dining guest. The manager seemed cordial and BUSY. Despite the room only being about half full, he apparently was too busy for the entire 2.5 hours we were there to so much as acknowledge us or thank us for coming to his establishment. LAME.
Ambiance & Management: 6.5/10
Despite the very poor showing in the cocktail end of things, the wine list is extensive, expansive and clearly this establishments biggest revenue generator. Here's a tip Cibo: spend a little more time on the smaller picture (i.e./ the guest experience) and a little less time on putting bums on seats. You should have been lined up on a night when there is a sold out show at the Orpheum, but you were far from it. Maybe charging diners $2 per visit for a glass of water might be a good start. You might want to think about waiving this for diners who have one of your $35+ mains.
We won't be back. Rating 6/10
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