Listed in Restaurants and Cafés
Ads by Daily Info:
Useful links:Ethical Oxford
Oxford Pubs & Bars
Oxford Gig venues
Oxford Concert venues
Latest venue reviews
Our favourite restaurant. The service is great, led by a couple of charming Italian managers, and the food is consistently fresh, imaginitive and well executed. And it remains good value, with our average £20-25 a head. If you want good, authentic Italian fare, this is the place to get it in Oxford.
Oxford blue (Unverified), 04/02/11
Cibo has grown and prospered over the last 6-7 years - I should know, as I have been a regular client over these years. However, I feel compelled to write this review based on the last 3 visits I have made for dinner. The place has been refurbished and extended, but at the expense of the great menu they had in previous years. Many of the dishes have been removed and the ones left over have been reduced in portion and taste, whilst the prices have increased. The addition of pizza is great for the kids, but I suspect pizza may be best left to the high st outlets! Cibo was the place to go in Summertown as it was vibrant, had great staff and great real Italian food....now it is just existing as another mediocre eatery. Shame.
ec3c (DI User), 19/11/10
We went to Cibo expecting the usual fare, but came away deliciosly surprised! They have had a complete refit and very contemporary and stylish it is. The service was very warm and attentive. There was a new menu addition too, pizza, which I had. They claim it to be a true Napoletano Pizza, being light, made using traditional homemade yeast, top quality toppings and of coarse delicious. Well I have eaten Pizza in Naples and I have to say Cibo's is the best pizza I have ever had in England. They have an Italian pizzaiolo (pizza maker) who can do all of the pizza thowing etc, which lent a real authenticity to the atmosphere.
So I would say make your own mind up, check it out, but I think you may be in for a nice surprise.
italian food fan (Unverified), 23/06/09
Really authentic Italian food. Just seems to get better and better. The service is always friendly and helpful. Well worth a visit.
Papparazzi (Unverified), 05/12/08
The carbonara is exceptional. The other pasta dishes so so.
Jolly roger (Unverified), 17/07/08
Polite and helpful staff but the rocket in the starter had black spots all over it, the crab risotto didn't taste like there was any crab in it and was burnt and rubbery, and the fish was dry and rubbery also.
Ordered a bottle of beer when the main came and it never appeared. First and last time here I'm afraid. A pity really because it was a pleasant-looking place to eat in.
J (Unverified), 16/05/08
I can give Cibo NOTHING but praise. We had eaten in Cibo half a dozen times and had a perfect meal every time and we have had different things from the menu each time. In fact we were so impressed we decided to have our wedding reception in their private function room. The food and service were outstanding and the value for money was exceptional. My husband and I have eaten in lots of restaurants in Oxford and surrounding area but Cibo has to be our favourite!
MrsB (Unverified), 04/02/08
I've enjoyed three meals at Cibo and I can honestly say they have been of a consistently high standard - worth the drive from South Oxfordshire. Only quibbles are that the restaurant can feel a bit cool - so wrap up on cold nights. And acoustics aren't great - we were acutely aware of a loud-mouthed oaf on a neighbouring table during our last visit.
Mimi (Unverified), 04/01/08
Great food. Had a lovely fresh swordfish with rosemary. My colleague had tagliolini with fresh crab -said it was excellent. Incidently I have had their ortolano, it is a little bland, but not bad for a light lunch dish.
richard (Unverified), 15/11/07
I love the pasta dishes at Cibo. There are quite a few independent Italian restaurants in Oxford, given the city's size, but they're spread out and as fortunately this one is around the corner from us, I have eaten a lot of the dishes on the menu - and I've never been disappointed. They make most of the pasta in house and it makes a huge difference to the texture and flavour of the dishes. I would definitely recommend this restaurant.
Tony Lamford (Unverified), 01/11/07
Unfortunately I'm in agreement (at least in part) with many of the negative reviews below.
The first thing to say is - DO NOT ORDER THE RISOTTO DELL'ORTOLANO! Previous reviews from Tim and Maia have already pointed this out, and it should be stressed that this risotto has the potential to be the most insipid piece of cooking you are likely to find in an Oxford restaurant. It's perhaps the worst dish I've ever tasted: watery, unseasoned, and utterly tasteless. In short, disgraceful.
In contrast to this main course, our meal had started out well enough. We ordered a bottle of falasco garganega, and at 15 quid I wasn't disappointed. The bruschetta starter was certainly soggy as noted in a review below, but it was relatively palatable. My parma ham and cheese (from the specials menu) was a treat, although given that the preparation stretched as far as cutting the cheese and plonking a few nice things (olives, sundried tomatoes, artichoke) on the plate this is hardly surprising. It doesn't demonstrate culinary skill, but I have no complaints on that one.
All things considered, I don't recommend Cibo. That risotto was unforgivable, and the rest of the meal hardly excelled. Bizarrely we found that this was one of the few restaurants in Summertown that appeared to have some decent level of custom and atmosphere last night. It makes you wonder...
GK (DI User), 12/10/07
I have just returned home having had one of the worst meals out that I have ever had the misfortune to experience. As I write I am cooking something edible in my own kitchen as the food that Cibo served up wasn't even fit for a dog. Even the simplest of cuisine in chips was beyond the Cibo kitchen, the cold mushy inside of their chips limply summed up the contempt that they demonstrated for their poor abused customers. This is no one-off, all the starters and main courses were of very low quality indeed. I am only grateful that I managed to escape to the security of my own kitchen.
I am no fussy eater either, I have had four other excellent meals out before this Cibo catastrophe. I would advise anyone out there to avoid Cibo at all costs.
ben (Unverified), 05/10/07
Great pasta and great fish. To start I had mixed shellfish in a tomato salsa. The fish was very fresh and not overcooked - still nice and juicy. For main course I had the razor clams with linguine from the specials - never had them before and they were delicious. Worth booking in advance as they were heaving! Great to have authentic Italian food in Oxford with interesting ingredients.
Filipe (Unverified), 13/09/07
This has to be the best Italian in Oxford. The homemade pasta is fabulous. I had a tagliolini made with squid ink with a sauce of samphire, king prawns and cherry tomatoes-it was delicious! You would be had pushed to find a dish of similar quality in any Oxford establishment. My friend had the mushroom risotto which was made with porcini, portabello and shitake mushrooms. He said it was very tasty, but the portion was a bit too much! Desserts were a bit limited and the homemade ones even more limited, however I had the homemade panna cotta with fruits of the forrest which was excellent. I find the atomsphere really quite romantic with the subtle lighting, lots of different seating areas, the open kitchen and the outside terrace. The bar area is very relaxing and the staff are always friendly and helpful.
foodie (Unverified), 06/09/07
Quite nice, if you don't mind good plain-ish food and rather bright lighting. Not a place to linger, other perhaps than on the sofas near the bar. My friend and I sat at a table at the front of the restaurant where I was overwhelmed by the smell of deep-frying from the kitchen area. Perhaps Cibo could invest in a better odour-removing fan. This is not a place to go if you yearn for interesting sauces, and it is often poor in the vegetarian choices - a risotto of some months ago was a particularly dreary gustatory experience for another friend of mine. Competent and reasonably-priced on straightforward grilled fish, which is invariably done to a turn. The atmosphere is fine, even if some of the staff are a bit too matey. Three to four out of ten.
maia (Unverified), 01/09/07
We're regulars and come back often for the simple, hearty fare and the warmth of the staff. The main menu doesn't change much but there's lots of choice and all the staples (bolognese, carbonara) you'd expect, some of which they serve with their own homemade pasta. They also do regular specials, which can be more variable, but the bass baked in salt we shared on Saturday was one of their best. An excellent North Oxford local.
Rachel and Kate (Unverified), 14/05/07
The worst Italian food I have ever tasted. My mother had The Risotto dell'ortolano which amounted to a soggy heap of over-done rissoto rice slopped together with garden vegetables so overcooked it seemed as though the chef had been determined to remove any natural flavourings from this dish. It was thoroughly disgusting. My parpadelle with rabbit was not much better. Overcooked chunks of meat lying ontop of poorly cooked pasta in a kind of fatty broth suggested that the person who had created this dish was either totally bereft of a palate or devilishly intent on offending my own. The fact that they are managing to sell this stuff for around £10 a plate is astonishing.
Tim (Unverified), 11/05/07
I'm have to say I completely disagree with Pamplemousse. I have been a regular diner at Cibo for about 3 years and never had a bad meal and always had friendly, attentive service. They always have a great selection of specials and I have worked my way through a lot of the extensive menu -I can strongly recommend the Fettuccine Mare Monti, the Ravioli ai Tartufi Neri and the crab ravioli. I have always found it good value for money, rarely creeping above the £35 mark for two of us (for 3 courses and a couple of glasses of wine), which is quite rare these days.
I would strongly recommend this place as it is one of the few places you will find authentic italian food cooked freshly!
KPE (Unverified), 01/07/06
A complete disaster. I seriously hope this establishment was just having a bad evening. The service was terrible, inattentive and slow as well as inefficient and the food was rubbish. The bruscetta was soggy and tasteless, the mussels were overcooked, rubbery and bland and the pasta with king prawns oily, fatty, quite disgusting. The waitress seemed to prefer schmoozing with younger trendier customers than serving us and we were also astonished to see a party of 3 people and a parrot (yes I said parrot) being sat next to us, welcome with open arms.
The bird was even allowed to fly around a bit. Now call me old fashioned but I do not consider birds and restaurants the perfect bed-fellows. I assume these were regulars as the warmth of their welcome was almost as though a long lost relative had just walked in...
Anyway apart from Ha!Ha! at the castle the worst meal and eating out experience in a long time.It was so bad I could almost have believed this was a candid camera experiment (though sadly I doubt it). No doubt this place will flourish as it seems to put decor and trendiness before good food or excellent service.
Go to Portobello next door instead and see how good service can be and how lovely and fresh food can taste.
Pamplemousse (Unverified), 16/12/05
Cibo, the Italian for ‘food’, is relatively new on the scene in Summertown, and looks extremely welcoming, with a small terrace area at the front. Unusually for Oxford, parking is available to the rear after 6.30pm. On arrival, we were invited to take a seat in the bar area, with its comfortable leather sofas and discreet artwork. The cocktail menu is relatively small, but is well priced, with most cocktails at £4.50, and the bar staff are attentive and happy to provide drinks which are not on the menu. Capirinhas, made with Brazilian spirit, lime and sugar, were strong and delicious. The non-cocktail minded among us enjoyed pints of perfectly chilled Nastro Azzuro on draught (£3.30).
Although our table was ready, the staff were happy for us to remain in the comfort of our squishy sofas to choose from the extensive menu of Italian delights. The choice was a tough one, but eventually the eight of us managed to decide on our main courses. We also asked for some bread (£2.50) and olives (£2.75) to share as a starter – the bread came hot, fresh from the oven and was perfect with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Once seated at our table, the mains arrived swiftly. I chose a chargrilled tuna steak (£11.50), which came with a small salad. I’d asked for the tuna ‘slightly pink in the middle’ and it was perfectly cooked – a real melt-in-the-mouth experience. Other fish choices included squid, sea bass and a seafood platter. My partner chose a chicken breast, cooked with chilli (to taste), garlic and butter-soft roasted peppers (£8.70).
Our vegetarian friends chose from a large selection of pastas and risottos – the homemade Spinach and Ricotta Tortelloni in a rich tomato salsa (£8.95) was the star of the bunch, and the fresh vegetable risotto (£7.50) was also devoured with glee. A fillet steak (£16.50), perfectly cooked, was the carnivore’s choice, although the balsamic vinegar sauce in which it was cooked was a little overpowering. Side dishes of fries, new potatoes, salad and roasted vegetables were available at from £2.10 to £3.70. We shared a carafe of crisp, tasty house white (£12.50) and a decent bottle of red (£15.95) – water was provided without the need to ask.
Although feeling very full after the generous portions, we just had to try the desserts! Disappointingly, the Daily Special, panna cotta, was sold out, so my choice was quite limited as I don’t like coffee or nuts, but a rich lemon tart contained neither and was superb. Other choices included a boozy tiramisu, chocolate bombe, chocolate and almond tart and a selection of ice creams, and the sounds coming from my companions suggested that they were pretty good! All were priced around £4. There’s an excellent range of Fair Trade coffees and teas, but for us a round of Limoncello liqueurs rounded off a perfect meal.
The bill, including drinks and service, was just over £200 for eight, but it would be easy to eat here very economically. All in all, I would recommend Cibo as a place to go for excellent service, great cocktails and food which is fresh, perfectly cooked and extremely tasty. I only hope that the lone diner simultaneously trying to eat a whole sea bass and have a loud conversation on his mobile phone is not there when you visit – some things are just too amusing!
Becky Simms (Unverified), 03/09/04
Ads by Daily Info:
Browse ads by tag: