Toronto, ON M3B 1X8
Extreme Brandz — the company responsible for Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito and Purblendz — has opened a new Italian street food restaurant in North York called Via Cibo. It’s a middle ground between sit-down dining and fast-food, which means casual service (orders are placed at a counter) and fare that goes beyond typical fast food.
“It’s a fast-casual concept and the objective is for us to deliver an authentic Italian experience but make sure its very affordable,” says Alex Rechichi, president and CEO of Extreme Brandz.
For this location, Via Cibo’s first, executive chef Steven Rego (who has worked in the kitchens of Rogues, Alioli and Lowville Bistro) has put together a menu of Italian classics, including panini sandwiches, piadina (Italian flatbread), salads, pastas, pizzas and more.
There’s an insalata pollo balsamico, which is a grilled chicken and spinach salad with cipollini onions, sundried tomatoes, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette ($12), and there’s a variety of wood-fired pizzas, including a margherita ($10), a quattro formaggi ($12) and a pollo al pesto ($14). Pasta dishes — including carbonara or osso buco — are made with a choice of penne or linguini.
Much of what’s on offer — including sauce, meatballs, sausages and piadina breads — is made on-site, from scratch.
At the end of summer, Via Cibo plans to include seasonal specials on the menu. Also available are Italian beers, wines, sodas and coffee.
The restaurant has a long counter in the middle — made from white Carrara marble — and a front patio that seats 12. The open kitchen offers a view of the wood-burning pizza oven.
Rechichi says other Via Cibo locations are in the works, including an upcoming location in Calgary, and there plans to open more in Ontario as well (the brand could potentially become a franchise).
By Rachel Bloom
Published: July 17, 2013