While I was initially skeptical as to whether Sausalito could support yet another restaurant, after giving CIBO an initial try I was won over. Since then I have been spending a number of weekend mornings there enjoying the great food, atmosphere and people.
Although it is a brand new restaurant, CIBO has deep Sausalito roots. Like many who live in Sausalito, our “go-to” Italian restaurant for many years has been Angelino Restaurant on Bridgeway owned by Pasquale and Donna Ancona. Although Angelino is in the heart of the main Sausalito tourist zone and has its share of customers who are only visiting Sausalito for the day, it has always also prided itself in being a neighborhood place that takes good care of the locals, and we have had many pleasant meals there with our family and friends. Plus, apart from Pasquale who is originally from the Naples area, there have at least a couple of waiters from Italy with whom I can practice my feeble Italian.
Alfredo Ancona, Pasquale and Donna’s son, and his wife, Tara, are the owners of CIBO. Apart from just serving good food, they have also demonstrated in many ways at the restaurant support for the local Sausalito community and local producers. To point out just a few examples:
~ The Sausalito architectural firm of Donald K. Olson designed the restaurant and helped preserve some of brick and other elements from the previous structure which adds a great deal to the restaurant's charm and character.
~ All of the dishes that are used at CIBO come from Heath Ceramics at the north end of Sausalito.
~ Robert Bengtson photographs grace the walls, all reflecting design elements found in or near the restaurant.
Needless to say, any restaurant is really about the cuisine, and happily CIBO gets high marks there. For starters they serve organic coffee from Blue Bottle, a Oakland-based coffee company. I had never tried their coffee before but, now having had it at CIBO, I think I am beginning to understand what the fuss is about.
On the food side, Tara is a pastry chef and there is always an interesting variety of pastries to accompany your morning beverages. CIBO also serves lunch and, while I have not yet had a chance to stop by later in the day, they have a number of tasty-looking panini in their display case every morning, not to mention a variety of preserves, cookies, and assorted Italian yummies.
To round it out, Tara and her staff, including Guillaume, Tasha, Carina, Ojha and Charley, are always cheerful and welcoming, even though they have to get up early to bake the pastries and work hard get ready for those of us who like to arrive at 7:00AM when they open.
And, if you are there at the right time, you may even run into Pasquale and Donna enjoying a cup of morning coffee!
CIBO is well worth a visit.