The Who: Toronto-based Liberty Entertainment Group has opened a South Beach outpost of Cibo Wine Bar in the Continuum condominium. Cibo also has a location in Coral Gables.
The Space: A sprawling cathedral of Italian dining. The 400-seater features multiple dining areas; a two-story, 3,000-bottle wine cellar (a “wine angel” harnessed to a cable retrieves bottles); and a 6,000-square-foot rooftop patio. The scene: Affluent condo dwellers, snowbirds taking advantage of the restaurant’s Tuesday-night lobster deal ($22 plus a side of pasta) and Italian expats.
The Dishes: Americanized Italian: pastas (some are homemade), pizzas and hearty mains round out the epic menu. Prices are reasonable and portion sizes aim to please with starters $9-$16 and mains $18-$39.
Complimentary rosemary bread and olives hit the table first. Then it’s on to starters of crudo, eggplant parm, fried zucchini or a salumi board. Homemade pastas include a pappardelle with lamb ragu, ravioli stuffed with lobster and cannelloni stuffed with ricotta and spinach. There are 16 pizzas available (and can be ordered with whole-wheat crusts), including one with spicy salami and grilled peppers, and one with gorgonzola, pears and walnuts.
Highlights among the entrees: Chianti-braised short-rib with gorgonzola polenta, veal Milanese and grilled trout with lemon-caper drizzle. For dessert, expect tiramisu, a chocolate “bomb” cake and lemon-ricotta cheesecake.
The Bottom Line: Fancy interior, an impressive wine cellar and plenty of seating make this a classy spot in the SoFi neighborhood for Italian comfort food.