Sibio’s has been a family-run business since it opened in 1974. And like any group effort that has endured that long, every member of the family has their own strength and part to play.
The restaurant was established by Albert and Bernadine Sibio all those years ago, and they built a successful following from the ground up. They met at the former New Delaware Cafe in Scranton, where he cooked and she waitressed, and continued working in the food industry until they were able to afford their own place. A nice fine-dining establishment was Albert’s vision, his sons said recently at their Dunmore restaurant.
The cuisine at Sibio’s is Italian-American with an emphasis on seafood and a devotion to all things being done right, by hand and from scratch.
Mrs. Sibio still hostesses and helps out where she can, though Mr. Sibio has largely stepped aside to make way for his three sons, who have taken over the lion’s share of duties at the restaurant.
Albert and Bob, both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, work with chef Mark Hrebin, an extended family member and staffer for 30 years, to prepare the freshest and best-quality dishes that carry on Sibio’s good name. Their brother David, a fixture behind the bar since high school, is a master mixologist and bartender, serving up a range of cocktails, cordials and wines that satisfy classic and contemporary tastes.
“It’s very demanding to run a restaurant,” Bob admitted. “We all work doubles and split shifts, so we’re always here.”
But the brothers wouldn’t have it any other way, they said, since it ensures that customers are taken care of properly and can see that they care about keeping them happy.
Still in its original location on Quincy Avenue, Sibio’s has undergone some cosmetic changes through the years. In 1989, an addition was built onto the main dining room, doubling its capacity to accommodate about 130 guests. Five years ago, the restaurant underwent a full makeover and emerged with a new look, and the outdoor patio has been updated with a solid roof and screening to protect its seating for 25 from the elements.
At night, with the right lighting and company, the patio provides the perfect summer retreat without having to leave town.
“It creates a really nice atmosphere,” Bob said.
The menu at Sibio’s has evolved over time to reflect trends and tastes, but the signature focus on seafood dishes has not waned. Even the specials board, featuring three different entrees nightly, includes a majority of fresh fish options. Other standouts include the Beer-Battered Beets with horseradish cream sauce, and all the sauces and breads made in-house. The chicken and beef stocks are also homemade.
“For the tomato sauce, we still use the recipe our dad implemented,” Bob said.
The desserts are another must-try at Sibio’s, as all are made by the family and include seasonal ingredients. The menu, which features about a dozen desserts daily, includes customer favorites like the strawberry and blueberry tarts.
“There’s not a restaurant in town presenting 12 homemade desserts every day,” Bob added.
Sibio’s wine list is moderately-priced, though it does feature a few high-end Italian selections. Specialty coffee drinks and martinis are popular, and David prides himself on his Mojitos made with fresh mint, which are big sellers in the hot summer weather. The older crowds also appreciate his attention to detail in making Old-Fashioneds, for which he muddles fruit in the old style.
Drop-off catering is available off-premises and takeout can be picked up during lunch or dinner. The food comes in good portions and is affordable, the brothers agree, which keeps customers coming back.
“The quality is really consistent, and that’s the biggest compliment we can get,” Bob said. “We’re always here making sure things are done right.”
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org; @pwildingTT on TwitterSibio’s
Address: 1240 Quincy Ave., Dunmore
Phone: 346-3172 or 961-9274
Owners: Albert and Bernadine Sibio and their sons, Bob, David and Albert
Cuisine: Italian-American with emphasis on seafood
Prices: Lunches are $9.25 to $10.95 and dinners average about $25 per person
Hours: Open for lunch Mondays through Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; open for dinner Mondays through Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. daily
Website: Like the fan page for Sibio’s Restaurant on Facebook