Right across from the huge Castle Towers shopping centre is a quiet Italian restaurant next to a bus stop. It is warmly lit and quite cosy, eventually filling up with small family groups over the course of the night. There are some interesting pastas on the menu which I haven’t seen before such as the orecchiette and agnolotti, which we decide to order along with the Cibo style shoe string fries, an Angus scotch fillet steak and a spicy chorizo fettuccine.
“Cibo style” shoestring fries $9.50
We share the shoestring fries between the 4 of us and we’re glad we didn’t order 2 servings as we had been considering earlier because the serving is pretty generous – heaped with shredded parmesan, herbs, garlic and chilli. These flavours have been absorbed wonderfully into the thin fries and they’re a tasty guilty snack to whet our appetites, although one of our friends isn’t much of a fan of the oiliness of the fries.
2010 Adelaide Hills Moscato, $7 a glass
I wash down the saltiness with a sip of the 2010 Adelaide Hills moscato I’ve ordered; it tastes fruity rather than syrupy sweet like some other moscatos we’ve tried. Although moscato is traditionally a dessert wine, I tend to order it to have with my mains because I’m a fan of sweet wines (i.e. I haven’t learnt to appreciate the usual red/white wines yet).
My house-made orecchiette pasta with scallops, chilli, rocket and lemon comes out first. It looks like a bowl of little dough buttons which are almost indistinguishable in shape from the small scallops scattered throughout. There’s a lot of chopped rocket too and flecks of chilli, all having been cooked in a light seafood broth which has been left in a pool at the bottom of the bowl. It’s easier to eat the dish with a spoon to scoop up the chewy little pasta buttons and it’s definitely something a bit different from the usual pastas I get.
Orecchiette with scallops, $22
The boy ordered the house-made agnolotti with wild boar and parmesan (it was meant to be served with truffle pecorino but they ran out of that). The agnolotti is like ravioli, and in this dish they looked more like plump Italian dumplings. There wasn’t a lot in the dish but it was surprisingly filling, probably because of the gamey tasting boar meat.
Agnolotti with wild boar, $25
Our friend ordered the fettuccine with chorizo, salami and chilli which was quite spicy as expected and it was the largest serving of all the dishes. The ribbons of fettuccine were rather nice when mixed with the tomato based spicy sauce and the various preserved meats weren’t bad either.
Fettuccine with chorizo and salami, $22.50
Last but not least, our other friend ordered a grilled Angus scotch fillet steak (originally meant to be rump, but the waiter gave her the choice of scotch fillet too). The steak was tender and succulent, paired with a delicious horseradish cream sauce and sprigs of watercress which weren’t particularly easy to eat gracefully, but she managed to polish them off nicely.
Grilled Angus scotch fillet steak, $22
Cibo e Vino is a decent little Italian restaurant for Castle Hill standards (there isn’t much choice apart from the Piazza at Castle Towers). The flavours are not mind-blowing but they are reasonable and it is worth a visit if you’re after mid-range Italian fare that serves up dishes that are a bit different from the norm.
Cibo e Vino
2/299-301 Old Northern Road
Castle Hill NSW 2154
Phone: (02) 8002 0912
I haven’t learnt the arts of appreciating wines (any wines) either! My palette just won’t understand it lol
Haha we need to train ourselves to be more cultured 😉 for now i’ll just stick to my moscato though!
I’ve not been here yet but I want to as it’s so close to home. Love Italian food but don’t seem to eat it that much (or wine…I love dessert wine too though).
It just got crowned as the top restaurant in Castle Hill by the SMH Good Food Guide 2012 actually, so worth a visit 🙂