Celebrating La Dolce Vita with authentic Piemonte wine and Italian brunch at Bibo Restaurant

I attended the Bibo Restaurant brunch and wine launch recently and was treated to delicious Barbera wine from the northwest Piemonte region of Italy as well as authentic Italian tapas. Bibo Restaurant focuses on authentic regional Italian food such as wood fire oven pizza and handmade pasta.

The evening kicked off with a splendid buffet of meats and cheeses, vegetables, focaccia and tarts. A highlight was a unique fondue-like spread called Bagna Cauda, made with pungent anchovies, garlic and butter and lots of extra virgin olive oil.

A feature of the new brunch menu is Farinata, a wood-oven flatbread made from chickpea flour. Farinata originated in Genoa and has a mild, nutty flavour with a crispy texture. Another dish presented hailing from the Genoa region is Focaccia al formaggio Genovese, quite like a cheesy foccacia bread. This dish is accompanied with cappuccino in the morning or a glass of wine later in the day.

Other authentic savoury pastries included Pasqualina, filled with egg and spinach as well as zucchini, which is layered with slices of zucchini and are reminiscent of quiches. However, the pastry crust is more soft and spongy rather than flaky.

Co-owner Lorenzo Bottazzi’s family owns and operates the Monterosso vineyard estate, which has been around for 450 years. Lorenzo is the first in the family to bottle the Monterosso wine into a business venture, and offer it at Bibo exclusively. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that all of the bottled wines from Lorenzo’s Italian vineyard are from organically grown grapes.

Wine presented at the gathering included Barbera and Bonarda, both elegant and fruity red wine grapes as well as Cortese and Timorasso, lesser known whites that intrigued my palate. The Barbera was rich and complex, with balanced acidity and lingering mouth feel. With an aroma of cherries, blackberries and vanilla, its beauty was brought to the forefront after tasting the many delightful savoury treats. The Cortese was light, crisp and lively, eventually developing into a smooth, slightly minerally and herbaceous taste.

I spied Rick Chung of VancouverisAwesome.com, Cassandra Anderton of Goodlifevancouver.com and met some enthusiastic food bloggers and beautiful Italian people. Lorenzo and Andrea Bini, co-owners of Bibo, welcomed all as their guests into their home with a drawn out buffet spread while the live band serenaded the crowd in the background. The night was not complete without the introduction of the in-house gelato making machine and an exquisite, artisan dark chocolate gelato. From pizza to wine, it was a well thought out production with plenty of heart. Viva La Dolce Vita a Bibo.

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