Once a stall at Levy Market, then a pop-up pizzeria above Fred’s Ale House, Cibus took baby steps to get to where it is today – a fully-fledged and much-praised Italian restaurant and bar on Levenshulme high street.
Alongside the Rudy-worthy pizza that it was first known for, you can now head there for an inspired line in cicchetti, fresh meat and fish dishes, Sunday roasts and homemade Italian desserts.
The small plates are imaginative and intriguing: think panelle and scarola (chickpea flour fritters topped with sautee endive, peanuts and raisins), or octopus with red wine and tomato sauce and homemade bread.
The menu changes seasonally and the specials vary each week. Recent highlights include cetara anchovies in bagnetto verde with sourdough bread. And a casserole of pork, savoy cabbage, and cannellini beans.
In the pasta section, you could find dishes such as homemade veal and rabbit ravioli, and a risotto made with Scottish crab meat.
On Sundays they do a beautiful selection of roast dinners, all served with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, crushed carrots and swede, spiced braised red cabbage, parsnips and buttered greens, and garlic and rosemary gravy.
The pizzas are still up there as some of the city’s best, with plenty of choice and a lot of interesting Italian ingredients sourced by patron Giorgio and his Sicilian chef, from mushroom and taleggio to ‘nduja, stracciatella, artichokes and truffle oil.
Enjoy them in the elegant interior, or take advantage of their covered terrace and beer garden at the back.
At the bar, you’ll find Italian wines and even Italian lager on tap (and none of that big brand nonsense either). If it’s authentic Italian you’re after, it’s authentic Italian you’ll get.