Miami Beach

Beach Buzz: After two-year buildout, Cibo Wine Bar opens at Continuum South of Fifth Street

Nick Di Donato, president and CEO Liberty Entertainment Group; Mr. Brainwash; and Nadia Di Donato, creative director Liberty Entertainment Group.
Nick Di Donato, president and CEO Liberty Entertainment Group; Mr. Brainwash; and Nadia Di Donato, creative director Liberty Entertainment Group.

Following an arduous two-year construction, permitting and licensing process, Cibo Wine Bar opened its second local eatery at 200 S. Pointe Dr. in the Continuum condominium (South of Fifth Street) during Art Basel Weekend.

Cibo’s owners — Toronto-based Liberty Entertainment Group — hosted more 1,600 guests at events on Dec. 5 and 6, extending invites to residents from all surrounding condo buildings as well as family and friends (over 150 guests flew in from Toronto for the parties).

VIPs in attendance included Shark Tank stars Damon Dash and Kevin Oleary (Mr. Wonderful), CIBO investors David Cynamon and Lanning J. Abramson and street artist Mr. Brainwash.

CIBO (pronounced “Chee-Bow” – it means “food” in Italian) is Liberty’s third area venue: the group has run Coral Gables Country Club since 2010; and in 2011 opened Cibo Wine Bar Coral Gables on Miracle Mile.

“We wanted to understand the community and earn a reputation with respect to our food, which is authentic to the Solerno/Naples region of Italy,” explains Nick Di Donato, Liberty president/CEO (an Italian native who today lives in Toronto and North Miami).

The new 12,000-foot site features three distinct areas: a cocktail club; main restaurant with a dramatic two-story 3,000 bottle wine cellar (bottles are retrieved by a “wine angel” on a cable with harness) and a 6,000-foot third-level outdoor patio which serves craft beer and wine in barrels. The extensive menu is similar in all areas – and features homemade pastas, breads and sauces (which will for sale to the public).

Beginning in January, Cibo will serve lunch and dinner (11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.) daily. The upper level patio closes at 11 p.m. weeknights; midnight on weekends (a concession to surrounding neighbors).

“There is always a struggle to balance development with quality of life,” says attorney Victor Diaz, a member of the Continuum South Beach Master Association. “We welcome Cibo to the neighborhood and as long as they are a good neighbor, their most loyal customers will be our South of Fifth residents.”

Nearby condo associations – with guidance from Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine and Commissioner Michael Grieco — designed compromise solutions for the project including limiting hours, valet parking adjustments, bringing open kitchens indoors and restricting deliveries — plus penalties if the rules aren’t followed.

“We feel there is a pent-up demand in Miami Beach for a great restaurant with lots of space to visualize and feel the environment,” adds Cibo’s Di Donato.

For reservations or details, call 305-987-6060 or visit


Where do Jewish singles go on Christmas Eve? For many, it’s “The MatzoBall.” The 28th annual networking/matchmaking bash takes place Wednesdayat the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

From 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., the hotel’s LIV nightclub will cater to guests ages 21 to 35; Michael Mina 74, will play host to singles 25 to 49 (until 2 a.m.). An inaugural “MatzoSplash” at the Fontainebleau Pool from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. will feature a live DJ and bikini contest.

MatzoBall was founded in 1987 by Boca Raton resident Andrew Rudnick (in his native Boston) to bring Jewish singles together on a day and night when many venues are closed.

This year, there will be 14 MatzoBalls held simultaneously throughout the U.S., in cities including Fort Lauderdale and Delray Beach.

Rudnick, 50, jokes that he created the event “to avoid watching reruns of It’s a Wonderful Life and eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve.” He met his wife, Catherine, at a 1997 MatzoBall. The couple are married 16 years and have three children.

MatzoBall 2014 is co-hosted by JDate and the Society of Young Jewish Professionals.

General admission tickets for MatzoBall are $50; MatzoSpash $35 (cash only at door). One-night hotel Get-Away packages (which include brunch at Vida the next day) begin at $349 per person.

For tickets or information, go to


The 9th annual Borscht Film Festival winds down Sunday with several films and events in Miami Beach — including a showing of Scarface Redux at Mansion Nightclub, 1235 Washington Avenue from 8-10 pm.

To create the redux, Brian De Palma’s original 1983 Scarface movie was cut into more than 600 clips (15 seconds each). Filmmakers around the world were invited to select one or more scenes and remake them.

A contest was held for the best scene submitted. Top prize included hotel and airfare for two to Miami, plus VIP tickets to all screenings and parties. Turns out the winner was local: Miami-based filmmaker Martell Harding, a 25-year old Florida International University graduate for his redux of Scene 94: The Shoot Up.

Contest judges included Miami Herald film critic Rene Rodriguez, Rakontur Film’s Billy Corben and NBC-6 anchor Adam Kuperstein.

Scarface Redux party fee is a $10 donation; free to those who submitted a clip.

To learn more about the film fest, visit

Beach Buzz appears every other Sunday, and focuses on people and businesses throughout the Beaches, Aventura and Miami. To reach Debra K. Leibowitz, call 305-531-7887 or email, or become a fan of her Beach Buzz page on Facebook.