Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cibo Bistro & Wine Bar

A wine bar review is not that interesting until one considers the location of this worthy stop on your travel itinerary, gate B6 at Philadelphia International Airport. How cool is that? With cullinary delights at most North American airports ranging from TGI Friday's to Starbucks, could Cibo Bistro and Wine Bar be a refreshing sign of things to come?

In the background was modern, rhythmic mood music which fit with the hip and trendy decor, reminiscent of the modern-styled bistros and wine bars popping up in major metropolitan areas. A nice suprise to brighten up this weary traveller's day, and it was jam packed similarly haggard travellers.

It was dinnertime when I sat down at the bar, and with just an hour between flights ordered a crispy calamari salad (balsamic dressing) to pair with a glass of the 2005 (?) Folie a Deux Menage a Trois (white), a widely available blend of Moscato, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. White gold in the glass, I thought it more sauv. blanc on the nose, with grapefruit, green apple, oak and some floral notes. A nice soft mouthfeel, supported by juicy lemon and pink grapefruit, good acidity and persistency. Very smooth. Nicely done, and a great pairing.
Score: 16/20

Cons? Pricing (wine, the food pricing was ok), of course, but I have become somewhat immune to airport sticker shock over the years. The glassware was weak, but forgivable given the challenge of handwashing Riedel at a high volume Airport bistro.

Overall, if you love wine than this bistro is worth a stop. Somebody sign me up for this franchise!

PS - If anybody knows of other good airport wine bars, please pass on the details!

19 comments:

Chris said...

Oh you must have been bored in-transit to review an airport wine bar. Ha!

Now you'd think SFO would have something decent. But no. Odd.

Joe said...

Hi Chris, I never miss an opportunity for something new to review!
I am extremely surprised that SFO does not have a decent wine bar. I was also surprised that Philly was the first place that I found a decent wine bar. I rarely go to Philly, so it is not that helpful knowing about it, but maybe my post will get somebody to open wine bars at other airports! Cheers, and see you next Saturday.

RougeAndBlanc said...

I am surprised you like the Menage a Trois, I thought it is a tad sweet and flat.
Actually, I think the best part of this brand is the name, a great party conversation piece to get guests involved.

Joe said...

Hi Andrew. Don't get me wrong - it was not a compelling wine, but it was interesting, balanced, and paired well with the food on offer. I agree it is a great party wine, but also in the sense that a broad range of wine tastes could enjoy its simple taste. I have no idea what it goes for retail, which would definitely be a consideration.

Marcus said...

This seems like the right time to tell you that I uncorked the other Hillebrand Cab Franc 2000. I tasted it blind against a couple of other wines I had open (including a 99 St-Emilion that sold for the same price). It seemed totally ruined, much more undrinkable than the last one we tasted.

Sweet, flat and considerably expensive! I want to go shopping in that winery store with $100...

Joe said...

no, no, no Marcus. You were supposed to return it! Perhaps we can redeem overpriced Canadian wine one night - I have an Osoyoos Larose and a Clos Jordanne that we need to try...

Marcus said...

You've got to open it before you return it!

I had a $14 Chianti tonight and it was the most brilliant thing I opened all week. Cheap wine is my style.

Joe said...

Hey Cheapo, I'm hosting next time! :)

meg808 said...

ok, so i actually didn't try the wine here but i wanted to make a comment about the food. passing through the airport on christmas day this year i picked up a chicken caesar wrap which i found overpriced in the first place. they gave me a wrap that was sitting out for who knows how long. doesn't matter. long story short, i got salmonella food poisoning from this place - 2 weeks of hell - my whole vacation ruined. don't eat here!

Joe said...

I'm verry sorry to hear about your bad experience.

Aman said...

I've stopped getting wraps or cold food from those small stations they have outside restaurants that are called "express" or "to go" They are just nasty. I now eat inside the restaurant usually go to Sky Lounge which is pretty good or Cibo's. Thats my 2 cents.

Aman Sethi
InternetInFusion.com - Delaware Website Design

Anonymous said...

Hey, Joe...I was recently in Dulles and stumbled across a place called Vino Volo...another airport wine bar that has a pretty upscale selection. I thought the atmosphere was nice, too! I am new to this blog reading thing, so don't have a website of my own, but came across your posting and thought I would leave a note. Thanks! Kristin

Joe said...

Probably good advice, Aman. Thanks for the Sky Lounge suggestion.

Hi Kristin, I usually fly into Regan because it is so convenient, but maybe I should go to Dulles instead - thank you for stopping by and leaving that tip - I am always on the hunt for airport wine bars.

Sanath said...

Hi, Joe! My name is Sanath forget trying to pronounce it. I work at the Cibo Bistro that you stopped by at and am glad for this review. Thank you for understanding our glassware situation haha. The next time you stop by Philly drop by our bar. I'd like to recommend some of our other chain restaurants in the Philadelphia International Airport.

Joe said...

Hi Sanath, thanks for your comment. I would love to check out some of your other restaurants, but only if they are wine bars! I am not a food critic, just a wine critic...

Wendy said...

Hey Joe, I work at the Cibo Bistro & Wine Bar at Reagan Airport in DC. I read one of your previous replies and you seem to fly to Reagan quite often. So, next time, you should stop by. We are in terminal B. Hope to see you.

Joe said...

Hi Wendy, I haven't been to Regan in a while, but I will stop by on my next trip through. Is Terminal B the main terminal?

clone said...

Aside from "Cibo Bistro" being the culinary equivalent of "Corinthian Leather", the reviewer fails to leave out that instead of an actual pub that serves beer, you are stuck sucking down overpriced wine and cocktails along with your jet engine fumes at crummy old PHL. All i could think of was that this overrated restaurant was probably preventing me from drinking some real beers (outside of the brandname stuff they might sell at a Fridays, which, i would go to over this mess if I could find it at the airport, but i don't think PHL has anything else) before I had to get back on the plane.

Seriously dude.

Joe said...

Hi Clone - perhaps the review appears glowing, but you are missing the context. Overpriced? Check - it's an airport. Engine fumes? Check - it's an airport. Real beers? If you find a good, inexpensive pub at PHL (I haven't been in a while), I would find that equally appealing. The context? I was travelling non-stop, and a glass of wine that wasn't a Fetzer Chardonnay at a Sports Bar seemed like heaven. Take this bar out of PHL and, well...