Ah, those awkward encounters when you bump into someone at a party and can’t recall their name or where you know them from. This is how the conversation goes. “Cibus – you remember, stall at Levy Market. No? OK, pop-up pizza place above Fred’s Ale House…”
That’s right, Cibus is back, but now it’s next door to the pub, not in it. Rudy worthy, the pizzas in the old days were worth the traipse up the steep stairs and into a maze of various knocked-through rooms, and they still are – and now they take pride of place alongside a full menu of Italian delights. New Cibus is offering the whole “ristorante, pizzeria, bar, cicchetti” experience and these days you don’t have to go on an expedition to take advantage of it. “Levenshulme’s first Italian restaurant”, as it’s been christened, has a tasty line in fresh meat and fish dishes – think polpette in bianco – veal & pork meatballs with pancetta and peas, an exuberantly fresh catch of the day or classic gamberoni (red king prawns) in brandy sauce
There’s biscetta – minute steak bavette served with truffle potatoes, mortadella with homemade focaccia and even salt cod. There’s plenty for the vegetarian, too, including saffron-infused pea and mushroom arancini rice balls, baked aubergine parmigiana and orecchiette crudaiola with cherry tomatoes, leccina olives and ricotta. Seafood risotto with mussels and clams creeps in to the pasta section and beef featherblade ragu with fresh egg pasta. But it’s the pizzas that will be bringing back the old regulars, and there’s 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
There’s also Italian desserts, 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.