EATALY’S BABY ARRIVES IN DALLAS BEFORE ITS PARENTS
by Andrew Chalk
Last May Dallas Italophiles were positively salivating at the news that Italian marketplace Eataly was coming to Dallas in 2020. They can wipe the foam off their mouths, Eataly’s baby has arrived before its parents in the form of CiboDivino, conveniently located at the increasingly interesting Sylvan | Thirty development at Sylvan and I-30. I attended a media event there this week.
Like Daddy, CiboDivino has a restaurant, a coffee bar, a bakery, a wine store, a butcher, a cheesemonger, a grocery (with Italian specialties like olive oil, olives and salumi), a craft beer program, a takeout case of freshly-prepared dishes for folks in a hurry, even a gelato bar. Little wonder that owners Daniele and Christina Puleo describe CiboDivino (divine food) as ‘a marketplace’.
One important facet of CiboDivino is that Daniele’s background is in the restaurant business. He owned and ran Daniele Osteria on Oak Lawn Avenue for nearly a decade. As a result, he approaches each of the food items at CiboDivino with a chef’s perspective. Thus, the pizzas are made from Italian flour, the tomatoes are San Marzano, the cheese is sourced from artisans. There is no song and dance about this rigor, it just shows in the product - one of the best pizzas in Dallas. The meat for sale at the carnezzeria comes from 44 Farms, a respected Texas breeder of Black Angus that sells to a litany of top restaurants in town. CiboDivino Executive Chef Ryan Olmos even makes 44 Farms beef bacon in house. The gelato is from Paciugo. Daniele regularly visits Italy and the world’s largest wine fair VinItaly to source interesting wines. Small wonder that, on a recent rainy Monday night, every table was full at 7pm. Lots of people come from the Oak Cliff and West Dallas neighborhood and that makes it a kind of social gathering place as well.
The marketplace restaurant is a good place to get to know the lie of the land. I recommend the gnocchi verdi ($16) and the classic Margherita pizza ($12) and the Di Fica (White Pizza) ($14) which was topped with potent dried figs, tart arugula, mozzarella, and sinfully creamy gorgonzola. The killler addition is that you can walk over to the wine shelves and pick any wine for dinner -- at the retail price plus three dollars corkage! Given that Dallas restaurant wine markups are typically 3x retail, this makes for one of the best bargains in town. Make Barolo or Brunello your everyday drink!
Brunch is offered on Sundays and their is a patio for al fresco dining.
There are lots of interesting and unusual things to discover at CiboDivino marketplace but downtown workers will be especially interested to know that Daniele and Christina have opened a smaller satellite named CiboDivino - centro in Bryan Tower, open office hours and focused on lunch eaters in a hurry and takeout.
So, still anxious for Eataly? I’ll get there when I can.