Updated on September 23, 2016
Offering Portland diners a supremely unique taste of Italy.
Portland, Oregon (July 3, 2012) – Cibo (pronounced chee-bo; Italian for “food”) is now open on Portland’s flourishing SE Division Street. Cibo focuses on hand-pulled pizzas and garbanzo-based cecinas baked in a traditional Ligurian oven and a seasonally changing menu, all infused with chef and restaurateur Marco Frattaroli’s curiosity and deep knowledge of authentic regional Italian cuisine.
“I love this neighborhood,” says Marco Frattaroli about opening Cibo on Division Street. “Like Basta’s, my vision for Cibo is a neighborhood restaurant where people can come several times a week, order their favorite dishes on the menu, or let me surprise them with something like fresh anchovies I’ve picked up that day on the Oregon Coast.”
The focal point of the 2000 square-foot warmed up industrial space is the Ligurian wood and gas fueled oven imported from Italy, and originally designed to make cecinas, a gluten-free garbanzo flour pizza. Cibo boasts the first oven of its kind in the United States, offering Portland diners a supremely unique taste of Italy. In homage to the oven’s origins, Frattaroli is featuring various cecina on the menu in addition to traditional pizzas. Pizzas range from pie classics like Margherita and Napolitana to Frattaroli favorites like La Parma with Arugula, Parma Prosciutto and Mozzarella, andSopressata with Salami, Kalamata Olives and Red Onions. Those possessing a sweet tooth will fancy the Nutella Pizza.
Cibo’s menu is painted with other Italian plates like Sea Salt Baked Fish drizzled with Olio Nuovoand the Sicilian street-food sensation Arancini. Frattaroli gives a grateful nod to Portland’s proximity to the Oregon Coast with a Seafood Salad of Fresh Conch served with Lemon and Olive Oil.
Cibo is the second restaurant endeavor by Marco Frattaroli, executive chef and owner of Basta’s Trattoria on NW 21st Ave. Opening Basta’s in 1992 (before eating dinner in Portland was an art form), Frattaroli has anchored his craft in the principles of authenticity and longevity. A long-standing stalwart of honest Italian cooking, Frattaroli is a veritable culinary maverick. He cares about the authenticity of the food, not the celebrity status that accompanies many modern chefs. His passion for freshness and food with integrity drives him to the coast to purchase fish directly from fishermen, or into the kitchen to cure his own charcuterie.
If the Ligurian oven is the stage of Cibo, the sixty-foot U-shaped bar constructed from a single Oregon White Oak tree offers the best seats in the house. Guests can perch atop one of 30 bar stools designed and built by Frattaroli himself, and watch the chefs at work. The stools, made from wine barrels, sit in front of the pressed copper walls of the bar. The décor of Cibo is both modern and warm, bound together by Frattaroli’s love of art. The window-front tables feature industrial lighting and large cozy booths surround the perimeter of Cibo, enticing diners to a leisurely Italian dinner. Photos from Frattaroli’s personal archive adorn the walls, giving the impression one could be eating cecina in an Italian town.
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