Tonight we stopped in at the (semi) new restaurant in town – Bibo Restaurant and Wine Bar, located just off I-35E and Diffley in Eagan in the former Viva Italia spot. The new place is owned by the same person who runs the wonderful I Nonni and Buon Giorno Italia in Lilydale, so we had high hopes that the food would be an improvement over the previous restaurant. Plus we heard the chef was from Rome, so that’s got to be a good sign.
We ordered a mozzarella appetizer that was very unique – the cheese was served between two slices of bread (like a Monte Cristo), coated and pan fried. They tasted a lot like state fair cheese curds, actually, but with less cheese.
For the main course, my wife ordered the mostaccioli ala norcina with pork sausage, truffles, fennel and parmigiano, along with some red wine. I had pork saltimbocca with potatoes, which was served without the usual cheese layer, but came in a very nice sauce. I usually get chicken saltimbocca and wasn’t sure if this would be too much pork, but it was very good. At first I thought the portion sizes were a little on the small size (mine came with three, thin pieces of pork and about six small potato slices), but it seemed just right after we were done.
My mom had Lasagna, while my dad had the same thing as my wife. Kid one had salmon in white wine and butter sauce with herb-roasted potatoes and kid two had penne pasta with parmesan cheese. Soft drinks were by Pepsi and my only complaint the whole night was that they put in a ton of ice, which meant about 956 refills over the course of the evening. That would be fine if the server came back every few minutes, but she didn’t. It also seems like a waste to have to clean all of those extra glasses.
For desert, the kids had chocolate and vanilla gelato, while Colleen and I shared a chocolate torte with a scoop of vanilla gelato. She thought the wine and the desert were the best part of the meal and everyone liked the food. I was hoping they would re-model a little inside – I would have changed the table layout and removed the high dividers to open up the room more – but almost everything seemed the same as before.
The quality of the food is a definite upgrade from before and I’d like to go back again. Prices seemed a little high to me, but they weren’t any worse than what Viva Italia was charging for food that wasn’t as good. My parents paid, so I didn’t get to see the total, but I do know my dad wasn’t happy that they added an automatic 18% tip for our party of six.
Google doesn’t turn up any website address for them yet, but I thought it was funny there is another Bibo Wine Bar in Osoyoos, British Columbia. I had a hockey player roommate in college from Osoyoos – always thought that was a great name for a town.
Originally published by DK on March 8, 2009 at 7:50 pm