Seasonal and regional dishes are the order of the day, every day, at this laidback and intimate Stockport Road spot. Situated in the heart of Levenshulme, a South Manchester suburb now overflowing with great options for food and drink, the fact Cibus has grown into such a firm favourite among locals tells you everything there is know about what they’re doing right. For one thing, the atmosphere, which exudes an unpretentious yet sophisticated air very much in-keeping with the ideal of Italian dining, which is where this establishment, and its menu, are coming from.
Rather than focusing on one particular corner of the old country, instead Cibus looks to celebrate the best from north to south, while still recognising clear distinctions between cuisines, from Piemonte to Lazio, Amalfi to Bologna. A carefully curated, seasonal chicchetti menu is one of the biggest selling points, which can be ordered individually or as a sharing board. Zucchini and Polpettine Fritti, Gamberoni (garlic & chilli king prawns in a potato, rocket & a shrimp bisque), Spaghetti Ubriachi (spaghetti quadrati cooked in Nero D’avola wine, garlic & chilli topped with beef tartare) and Swordfish Carpaccio are all worth the visit alone. There’s a strong pizza game happening, too, with a number of Neapolitan classics alongside more bespoke creations. Bresaola with artichokes and pear pecorino and Tartufata (Mozzarella, mushrooms, taleggio, Parmesan and truffle oil) are examples of what we mean. There is also a selection of delicious, classic cocktails on offer, including Spritz, Negroni and Amaretto Sour.
Pastas offer similarly exceptional and uncommon dishes, such as Cavatelli spade (with swordfish, Sicilian aubergine, pachino, tomato and mint). This is before we mention the Morish Salted Doughnuts, which we could write another listing for on their own. When your food is this good it would be a shame to overlook the importance of accompanying drinks, especially when you consider how seriously Italians take their wine lists. Cibus has a fantastic and very reasonably priced ‘cellar’ packed with choice bottles from Veneto, Puglia, Campania, Toscana and other select grape-growing regions, with a generous range served by the glass. Each Sunday, things change to an Italian-themed roast, including vegan and vegetarian options, and there are regular weekly cookery showcases to truly show off the kitchen talent.