Cibo (pronounced chee-bo)
means "food" in Italian
301 Alverado Street,
Downtown, Monterey, CA

Dinner every evening: 5pm-10pm
Bar: 5pm-2am

One of my favorite Italian restaurants in Monterey is called Cibo's. Mario the owner, and his mother Rosa run this family restaurant and serve great food. The atmosphere has a great vibe. Classy with white table cloths but not overly stuffy and uptight. Mario has made it clear to me that they appreciate anyone who comes in. He said if you want to come eat in a tuxedo or jeans it doesn't matter to him. Mario recently re-created the menu and came up with some amazing dishes. I have been there twice already- trying something completely different each time and have loved the experience.

Rather than go through everything I ate here (which has been a lot) these are my top  favorites.

Short Rib Pizza- Cibo's has excellent pizzas that are made in the restaurant. Don't expect just a plain ol' pepperoni pizza though. I tried their short rib pizza which is created with a goat cheese and grilled onion puree rather than sauce. It is topped with (like the name says) short ribs.

Caprese salad- The usual stacks of mozarella with fresh tomato, basil, and balsamic is given a little something extra at Cibo's. Pesto sauce gives this dish an extra flavor!

Alabascone- Love the taste of abalone but don't love the price? Cibo's understands this and has made a dish that is a fusion of abalone and scallops. You get the abalone taste without burning a hole in your pocket.

Al Ceppo Bolognese- This pasta is one of my favorite. This thick tubed pasta comes with a veal, pork, and beef ragu that is full of flavor.

Dessert- Now, I am a dessert a-holic. Anything that has loads of sugar in it is just for me and Cibo's has excellent desserts!

- My very favorite thing is their cinnamon gelato. I first tried it when it was served along side their brioche bread pudding, which has chunks of dark chocolate in it. The second time I went however I had to ask for a scoop all on its own.

Cibo's is very creative with their desserts. Not only do they have a dark chocolate sea salt mousse but last time I visited I tried their peanut butter and gelee panna cotta which tastes EXACTLY like peanut butter and jelly! The amount of flavor that this dessert has is incredible. Who knew you could get the full flavor of peanut butter but with a light texture.

Cibo's also has a GREAT night life. Just as we were heading out (we got there a litle too early) their jazz band was starting to play. Almost every night they have either live music or a DJ to entertain the guests. They also  have a dance floor in case you want to dance! Their happy hour is everyday from 5-7 and they offer $3 drinks as well as half off their signature cocktails. (which..let me tell you are not expensive to begin with). Last time we were dining there, Abass, the manager created a custom drink for my boyfriend and I that was excellent. It was a take on a razzmatazz but had a little extra something.  A long with their drinks they offer a special bar menu with small bites and appetizers.

Olive garden may say, "when you're here, your family" but Cibo is where the family is.
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