Zibibbo restaurant shutters after 17 years in downtown Palo Alto

Upscale Mediterranean restaurant closure signals end of an era

Longtime Palo Alto restaurant Zibibbo has shuttered after 17 years, owner Rowena Wu confirmed Wednesday.

"Zibibbo has closed for good," she said, refusing to comment further.

Jose Sandoval, a San Jose resident who's been a cook at the restaurant for five years, said he was told last Friday that the restaurant was closing. He said the restaurant filled 80 reservations that night and had 85 more on Saturday, but those were cancelled.

The upscale Mediterranean restaurant, housed in a 12,000-square-foot yellow Victorian house at 430 Kipling St., opened in 1997. The huge space, with several dining rooms, actually spans from Kipling to Waverley Street another block over.

Zibibbo is the name of a grape used in Italy's regional dessert wines. A Weekly review from the year it opened hailed the restaurant as setting a "new standard for dining in downtown Palo Alto." It mentioned plates like dried fruit and Swiss chard fritters, fresh seafood platters, pork tenderloin, sand dabs, half-ears of corn with red pepper-butter served with "grilled husks and all."

A June 2010 review revisiting the restaurant noted that Zibibbo had won the Wine Spectator magazine's prestigious Best of Award of Excellence. The award is the second of three tiers offered by the magazine and is bestowed on restaurants with wine lists that offer 400 or more selections, "along with superior presentation, and display either vintage depth, with several vertical offerings of top wines, or excellent breadth across several wine regions," the magazine's website says.

In January 2012, Zibibbo hosted vice-president Joe Biden and a group of tech leaders for a dinner.

The Palo Alto restaurant was the sister restaurant to Wu's Restaurant LuLu in San Francisco, which is still open.


There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Draeger’s Los Altos eyes upgrades, expansion
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 2,789 views

Housing is for People
By Steve Levy | 18 comments | 1,762 views

College Visit: Lehigh and Lafayette
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 4 comments | 1,240 views

Is Coffee a Date?
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 490 views

The Opposite of What You Don't Want
By Caroline Fleck | 0 comments | 344 views