Picture it, a New York Soho-esque place to meet your friends in Cedar Rapids, can it be? Yes, but don’t rush over to have your Sex and the City girl’s night out at this place, but do rush out, none-the-less.
I was introduced to Cibo’s when visiting a friend in Cedar Rapids a few weeks ago and as I entered the place (to my surprise), it actually reminded me of a few Zagat-rated places back home in New York. The lighting scheme was convincingly chic yet sexy and the place’s dcor was rich and trendy. The staff must have been hired by some fashion-based HR personnel connoisseur as they all looked ready to walk a runway in Milan.
Although it wasn’t on the menu, I asked for a drink infused with ginger, my new ingredient of the year, and I waited with bated breathe for my request to be laughed off or at least have the bar tender shoot me a confused look accompanied by a hardy chuckle, but once again, Cibo delivered. The bar’s manager overheard my request and became the hero of my alcoholic melodrama. He whispered how he’d been working on a ginger mojito and was sure I’d enjoy the refreshing drink. Being skeptical, I was up for the challenge. Not only did he deliver on his promise, the drink itself tasted like something out of a martini fairy tale: sweet and colorful, refreshing, and infused with cool minty ginger. If I could, I would have been bathing in the mixture allowing myself a few sips during the process, making bath-time my favorite part of the day.
The only drawback to the place was the clientele which consisted of the “I just turned 21” crowd wearing cargo shorts and football jerseys. I was disgusted as they entered in packs and converted the place into some run-of-the-mill sports bar hang out. But do not despair, if you can overcome the crowd, you will discover Cedar Rapids’ greatest little secret, and you never know, maybe your Mr. Big will be just around the corner and merely a ginger mojito away.