Michael DiBianca’s name is well known in Wilmington. He is remembered for Moro, the intimate, fine dining establishment on North Scott Street, and Satsuma, the sushi-inspired restaurant on Delaware Avenue. The Culinary Institute of America-trained and James Beard Award nominee took a break from cooking when these restaurants closed and has managed to stay off the radar until recently. Venu Gaddamidi, owner of Veritas Wine & Craft Beer on Wilmington’s Riverfront, met DiBianca at SIKAR’s Cigar Lounge in Trolley Square, where DiBianca is part owner. Gaddamidi has always wanted to expand his business into the restaurant industry, so he patiently pursued DiBianca as his partner and chef.
“We were going back and forth and I think he finally was able to decompress enough,” says Gaddamidi. With that, Ciro Food & Drink was born.
(FROM LEFT): Cirofood and drink logo//courtesy of the owners;“[Hemmingway]is one of my favorite authors, and one of my favorite things in the world is oysters in white wine and rosé,” says Gaddamidi.//photo courtesy of Danielle Bouchat-Friedman
The 28-seat restaurant will open inside Veritas Wine & Craft Beer, which has been located on Justison Street since 2009. (He started serving lunch in 2014, but it was prepared offsite and only 20 to 30 servings were available each day).
Gaddamidi will still sell Indian lunches on weekdays and continue to operatePorter’s Mini-Mart, named after his friendly black Labrador that often comes to work with him. And of course, his wine and beer business will still be open—right on the other side of the wall from Ciro.
Gaddamidi and DiBianca have a goal of opening the intimate restaurant on Feb. 1, but are currently “at the mercy of the health board.” In the beginning, the restaurant will just serve dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
DiBianca is keeping the details of the menu very hush-hush, but admitted that the flavors will be Mediterranean-inspired and that the menu will change weekly.
Ciro Food & Drink
321 A Justison St., Wilmington