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Cibo is a tasty, charming gem in downtown Phoenix

(Facebook Photo)

Walking up to Cibo on a Saturday night, I wasn’t surprised by all the people waiting for tables.

It was a gorgeous Arizona night, the smell of pizza lingered in the air and the glow of twinkle lights on the patio lured us in. The adorable refurbished 1913 bungalow gives off a comfortable and cozy vibe as you walk through the front door.

I put our name in with the host, who was extremely friendly and accommodating, and requested the first-available table (even though I was itching to sit outside, we didn’t have time to wait.) He estimated it would be about a 30-minute wait. We grabbed some beers at the bar and, before I even took my first sip, the host was back telling me he had a table for us! Turns out nobody wanted to sit indoors.

The interior is sectioned off and you start recognizing the different rooms of the original house. The sounds of chatting diners overflow from room to room which gives off a lively energy.

We started with the house salad, which had a light dressing over mixed greens, red bell peppers, grape tomatoes, onions and pine nuts and topped with delicious, shaved parmigiano cheese. We also ordered the special of the night, arancini — breaded rice balls filled with mozzarella and lightly fried. What a gooey treat! The warm fresh mozzarella was oozing out with each bite.

For dinner our table ordered three pizzas:

Funghi: Tomato sauce, mozzarella and mushrooms. We added prosciutto crudo (which is fresh-sliced prosciutto added to the pizza after the pizza has been cooked). Fantastic! The crust was perfectly done, the rich taste of the fresh mushrooms blended nicely with the cheese and out addition of fresh prosciutto was the perfect salty topper.

Salsiccia: Tomato sauce, sausage and mozzarella. The sausage had a surprising spicy kick that added loads of flavor into the mozzarella. Yum!

Di Notte: Fontina, pecorino, gorgonzola, mozzarella and spicy salami. This sauce-less pizza had a flawless combo of cheeses and the spicy salami gave it the perfect zest it needed. Great!

For dessert, we all shared the Nutella and Banana Crepe — a warm homemade crepe filled with Nutella and sliced banana topped with powdered sugar and chocolate sauce and, of course, we had to add ice cream. Decadent! As I cut into the thin crepe the Nutella poured out onto the plate. The combination of warm banana and Nutella is always a home run, but then to cool it off with vanilla ice cream is phenomenal.

Cibo is truly a downtown gem. Having a wonderful dinner inside OR out of a refurbished bungalow is a perfect way to spend an evening out. I am already planning my next visit and, if the weather is nice, I will definitely give myself enough time to wait for a table outside under the twinkling lights!

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