Someone once said that great things come in small packages — that person was foretelling of an experience of dining in Winnsboro at Cibo Vino, of this I am sure. On a recent adventure we stopped to dine on a Saturday night in downtown Winnsboro. Cibo Vino has been the rave of many County Line readers so it was our destination. All I can interject before I go on is it should be your destination, too.
Cibo Vino is located in an old hardware-store-turned soda fountain and ice-cream-shop-turned music venue prior to its latest transformation into this fine restaurant. It is filled with a rustic ambiance lined in industrial finishes that remind me of small cafes in New York City’s Tribeca area. A long wooden chest high bar runs the edges of the restaurant separating a brick oven that is warming the corners of the dining room. Small areas of tabletops hold couples and friends dining on simple, yet elegant food.
The restaurant boasts its self as a place to gather with friends — its name is translated to “food and wine.”
We began with the soups of lobster bisque and a roasted tomato which are rich and creamy. The bisque was great, but was missing a touch of dry sherry. The bread is served warm and with the complimentary wine, a semi-sweet red or an earthy chardonnay, they compliment the meal well.
The house wines are included in your meal, but patrons are welcome to bring their favorite wine with them. With all the great East Texas wineries, I am sure you can find a great pairing.
The maple pecan chopped salad is adorned with a honey, lemon and thyme dressing that when you taste it hold yourself back from licking the bottom of the plate once the salad is gone. You may be smirking at me as a diner, but you will know of what I speak when you are faced with the temptation.
Entrees at Cibo Vino range from $16 to $40 dollars and come in hearty portions. Lunch is a cheaper option for those watching your pocketbook and budget. Always ask your server for the special,and if it is the Veal Chop, order it above all else.
The pastas are served in large portions and you can get lasagna that seems to have endless layers.
Cibo’s chef makes a rich variety of sauces that delight the senses. The chicken picata and parmesan are classics that satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
A particular favorite in sides is the grilled and sautéed asparagus. It is tender and fresh, making the meal feel even more decadent.
But wait, I haven’t even started on the pizza. It is the star of the menu. Baked in the brick oven with hand-rolled dough, Cibo Vino is a true artisan pizza maker. It is a mixture of great farm to table ingredients, not too much sauce and a blend of beautiful cheeses. The classic marghertia is the simple and no frills pizza, but the white pizza with white sauce, asparagus and artichokes may change how you view pizza.
They also offer the combination of making your own pie, by choosing from the array of toppings. Be adventurous. You will wait a little longer for pizza here. It is handmade, so have an appetizer.
Dining at Cibo Vino is like coming to a great reunion. In February the owners began opening for lunch with Panini and sandwich items, which makes for even more exposure for East Texas to this small treasure. There is no complimentary wine at lunch, but they have a new soda fountain for soft drink lovers. The lines tend to be long and on Friday and Saturday nights you can have up to an hour wait for a table. That may make some anxious, but be patient—it is amazing.
Try to stay for dessert, the tiramisu is an amaretto soaked dream, but it can be overpowering for some palates. If that is too much try the huge creme burlee. My suggestion is bring your friends, appetite, and wine and love of great food to this County Line award-winning restaurant.