Cesibon Gelateria Review

The phrase “c’est si bon,” roughly translates to “it’s so good” in French. This concise phrase accurately describes the flavor of this local gelateria. Fabrice Morazel, Cesibon’s owner, proudly told me that their sorbetto is made out of only fruit, water, and sugar, while their gelato base is milk, cream, and sugar. The simplicity and freshness of these ingredients unify so that the end result is truly greater than its parts.

Sorbettos from top right clockwise: lemon, mango, pineapple, berry, orange, and strawberry

As I looked through and sampled many of the 14 flavors (they vary daily), I felt as if I was tasting each fruit and flavor for the first time.  Their pineapple, strawberry, and mango tasted as if I had picked each fruit individually off the tree at the peak of its season. Grapefruit isn’t one of my favorite fruits, but by combining it with strawberry, the bitterness was perfectly balanced. The lemon was perfectly tart, and simply refreshing.

“Gelatos from top right clockwise: nougat, mocha, pistachio, dark chocolate with almonds, hazelnut, and stracciatella (vanilla with chocolate chunks)

The gelatos and the sorbettos both achieve superb creaminess and texture.  The sorbettos taste as if they are made with dairy they are so smooth and creamy,  while the gelatos offer richer flavors than their counterparts. Caramel, pistachio, and coconut are among our favorites. Fabrice keeps the case at the perfect temperature so that the sorbettos & gelatos are not frozen solid, and all have a soft, smooth consistency.

Coconut gelato sprinkled with toasted coconut

[easyreview title=”Cesibon” cat1title=”Taste” cat1detail=”Each sorbetto somehow tastes better than the fruit itself, and the gelato is absolutely divine. The sorbettos, gelatos, frozen yogurts, milkshakes, and drinks are terrific. The only possible complaint is that Cesibon no longer offer crepes and waffles, despite them still being on their menu (see picture below), but that is easily overlooked after tasting everything which they do offer.” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Atmosphere” cat2detail=”Cesibon is charming and quaint with cute posters of gelato sprinkled throughout the parlor.” cat2rating=”3.5″ cat3title=”Food Presentation” cat3detail=”Each bin of gelato and sorbetto is beautifully presented in the pan with a rippled/wave-like texture. Many flavors have toppings sprinkled on them such as toasted coconut flakes, almonds, and candied walnuts.” cat3rating=”4″ cat4title=”Service” cat4detail=”As customers enter Cesibon, Fabrice happily makes each one feel welcome with an enthusiastic ‘Bonsoir!’ Cesibon does steady business, and there’s usually not much of a wait.” cat4rating=”3.5″ cat5title=”Overall” cat5detail=”Cesibon serves top quality sorbetto and gelato which tastes as if it comes directly from Italy. As you leave this gelateria you’ll definitely be saying, ‘C’est si bon!'” cat5rating=”4″]

Cesibon

8807 Tamiami Trail North; (239) 566-8363

PRICE RANGE: $3.50 to $5.50 per cup/cone; $7.50 per pint
CREDIT CARDS: Cash only
HOURS: Monday through Thursday 12:30 pm to 9 pm, Friday & Saturday 12:30 pm to 10 pm, Sunday 1 pm to 8 pm

MORE PICS: (click to see full-size)

Cafe Normandie Restaurant Review

As I headed to Cafe Normandie, I didn’t know what to expect. My first taste of French food had not gone over well; I had the misimpression that all French food is drowned in  butter and cream and is essentially an excuse for Americans to go off their diets.

Cafe Normandie defied my expectations. When I opened the cafe’s door, the smell of freshly baked bread filled the air. This smell immediately lured me to the “sandwich” part of the menu, and I inevitably decided to order the salmon sandwich. My partner chose the “friand to order.”

The salmon sandwich was absolutely everything that a sandwich should be. The baguette was right out of the oven – crispy on the outside, while light on the inside. According to our waitress, the dough was imported directly from France. The baguette was filled with smoked salmon, fresh spinach, and tomato slices. The smoked salmon was top of the line quality – the best I’ve ever had- and was layered generously on the baguette.  The sandwich and spinach salad came with a very light balsamic vinaigrette that didn’t overpower the smokiness of the salmon.

The friand included a choice of 3 stuffings (meats, cheeses, and/or vegetables). My partner chose chicken, brie, and fresh spinach. The pastry was light, flaky, and “melt in your mouth” delicious. The amount of brie was perfect – enough , yet not so much as to overpower the chicken and the fresh spinach.

Chef and owner Benoit Legris, from Normandie, runs this cafe wonderfully. He greeted us, chatted with us, and, at the same time, completed multiple orders. He serves simple, delicious, yet not pretentious, French cuisine.

Both dishes were large enough to take half home. The only problem was they tasted so amazing that we didn’t have the self control to do so.

[easyreview title=”Cafe Normandie” cat1title=”Taste” cat1detail=”The ingredients were distinctly fresh, the bread hand-baked, and contained perfect amounts of brie and/or vinaigrette.” cat1rating=”3.5″ cat2title=”Atmosphere” cat2detail=”Cafe Normandie is a quaint little French eatery, with charming paintings and the smell of bread baking as you enter.” cat2rating=”4″ cat3title=”Food Presentation” cat3detail=” A crisp spinach salad accompanied each of the well put-together sandwiches. ” cat3rating=”3″ cat4title=”Service” cat4detail=”Our waitress was friendly, hospitable, and the food service was fast and efficient.” cat4rating=”3.5″ cat5title=”Overall” cat5detail=”Cafe Normandie represents French food at its best with the absolute freshest and best ingredients available. I look forward to many meals here in the future. ” cat5rating=”3.5″]

Cafe Normandie

3756 Tamiami Trail North; (239) 261-0977

About Us

PRICE RANGE: Lunch $9 to $13, Appetizers $6 to $13, Dinners $17 to $23
CREDIT CARDS: All major ones are accepted
HOURS: Lunch 11 am to 3 pm, Dinner 5 pm to 8:30 pm