Cibo Matto (Restaurant, the Loop)

Location: 201 N. State St.
Phone: (312) 239-9500
Cuisine: Italian
Reservations: Recommended

I went to Cibo Matto having heard very mixed reviews and my expectations were not high. That said, I was blown away by this restaurant. The setting is as sexy and swanky as the hotel where it is located: The Wit, home of Roof, State and Lake and Pheonix Lounge. Have a pre-dinner cocktail at the Pheonix lounge right outside and get ready to experience a great meal. The restaurant decor is very swanky with dark lighting and high-backed booths that provide plenty of privacy for you to enjoy your meal.

The menu is designed as you eat in Italy – Antipasti, Primi, Secondi – and, although it may sound like a lot of food, I recommend following the 3-course flow. They have an amazing selection of Antipasti. We had the Grilled Octopus, which was so tender you could cut it with your fork; the Mozarella di Bufala, served with lobster and arugula; and, my favorite, the Burrata, served with watermelon and prosciutto. Next was our pasta course, “Primi.” We ordered the most highly recommended dish, the Bucatini – carbonara, pancetta topped with a duck egg, which I found to be the only disappointing dish of the meal as it was quite bland. But, the second dish, the Squid Ink Spaghetti, served with king crab and mint, was amazing. I could eat only this and be satisfied.

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Finally, I ended my meal with the Grilled Kobe. This dish was more simplistic than my usual restaurant order, I’m not really a meat and potatoes girl, but it was enough to make me think about becoming one.

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was we were rushed because we had to get to Billy Elliot and didn’t have time for dessert. But, the wait

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staff was aware of our hurry and did everything to get us our food quickly. And, when we missed dessert, our waiter brought us each

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a celebratory (it was my Mother’s birthday) glass of a sparkling dessert wine. It was the perfect end to the meal.

Speaking of wine – Cibo Matto has a great selection along with a few interesting cocktails. Nothing goes better with a great Italian meal than a few glasses of great Italian vino.

My ideal meal here would be the Burrata starter, Squid Ink Spaghetti, the Grilled Kobe and I still have to try the desserts. Still, I would come back just for a bowl of the Squid In Spaghetti or to try the Gallina Contartufo Nero Parpardelle – roasted hen breast, braised leg ragu, black truffle parpardelle and black truffles. Just reading the ingredients makes my mouth water.

As great as this food is, the price matches the greatness, so save Cibo Matto for special occassions, or for when someone else is picking up the check!


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