Two things about the soon-to-open, Vidrio restaurant in downtown Raleigh... food and art. Incredible! Make that, YUMcredible. Last week I attended Vidrio's media preview event and got to check out their gorgous digs and sample their cuisine.
Vidrio's theme is togetherness anf cooking with love. They serve family style dishes as well as small plates, They feature Mediterranean food and focus on sourcing seasonably and as responsibly as possible. Their menu is all about freshness and simplicity.
Upon on walking in I was immedietly wowed by the the appearance of the restaurant. Everything feels grand in there. Large and airy space, yet cozy at the same time. Go figure.
Straight ahead what you'll notice is the kitchen with a large refrigirated area displaying that day's fish.
To the left is a large block wooden table featuring beautiful multi-colored glass lighting domes hanging from the ceiling. To the side is a wall of wine bottles.
To the side of that is what they call "the library", which is a small-ish private dining room, also featuring walls filled with bottles of wine. Roger that.
Speaking of wine... althought they have plenty of bottled wines on hand, they also feature 50 keg wines by the glass. There is no otheer place I know of in the area that has keg wine. It was explained to me that this is an even better way of preserving freshness of wines than the commercial wine preservation cases found at many restaurants these days and at wine shops which sell wine by the glass.
The photo at the top of this story is of the main dining room which features a huge wall that is 2 stories tall and about twice the width you see pictured here. It is covered with gorgeous glass art which was created by a glass artist out of Ohio (Doug Frates). You will say WOW too, when you see it in person. Everyone had the same reaction. Striking to look at.
To the left of the dining room is an open kitchen run by Executive Chef, Ian Sullivan and Chef de Cuisine, Saif Rahman. They KNOW what their doing. Oh my goodness, let me get to the food part... It was amazing!
To the right is a large bar with seating on both sides. Ladies, the bar has purse hooks! Oh yes!! It's the little things. Along the window area are a few tables with a view of Glenwood South.
We got the beef tartare and mussels to start. Both were impressive. A memorable beef tartare that I've had in recent past was at Stanbury restaurant which I loved. Add to that list of memorable beef tartares, Vidrio's version. I'm not sure what ingredients were used to make it, but Vidrio's beef tartare had a lightness to it that was refreshing. It tasted like a true Mediterranean dish!
The mussles wowed too. My friend pointed out how sometimes mussles can taste fishy or be chewy, which is true. We almost didn't order this because I think we both didn't want to be dissapointed. However, the mussels is what we ended up liking the most. Also, that sauce was so delicious that I had a few spoonfuls as if it was a soup or something. Sorry to admit that, but not really sorry that I had it. ;)
The couscous, which we almost passed on .....because....how exciting can couscous be, right? They were plenty exciting. The sparks of light sweetness (cranberry) were such a delight. Do not pass this up.
Next we had the sea bass (branzino). Stuffed with lemon slices, fennel and herbs. This fish was prepared perfectly. Wonderful flavor.
We had a few cocktails to acccompany these delicious eats too. This pink beauty with the sage leaf is called the Seether. Refreshing citrus flavor with a little bit of tartness. An awesome after work wind-down . Or rather, it will be for me going forward. ;)
This is the Collins. Oh this was very good too.
The Urbanite. Smokey for sure. Yum!
The Amortentia..... Oh yeah this hit the spot.
This cheeseplate belonged to the folks seated next to us. They offered us a taste but we passed as we were quite full. However, I had to snap a pic of this beauty.
Upstairs: nother large dining area which features a seperate dining room that can be closed off for private parties.
So the decor is pretty amazing. This is the view from upstairs. That wall! Gorgeous!
Upstairs: Dining area.
Upstairs: Repurposed giant wooden log/chair. Great view too of Glenwood South.
Upstairs: Fiera lounge and fireplace.
Upstairs: Dining room which has optional glass doors to close off the section.
Upstairs: Bar and bench seating. Overlooking Glenwood South. Once the warm weather arrives those garages doors are going UP!
Upstairs: On the other side is a bar area which features a fireplace with some funky and eclectic furniture.
This section of the restaurant features garage doors which serve as windows & protection from the cold temperatures during cooler months, and will be opened during warmer months. This will make a true a patio with a great view of Glenwood South.
For now, the upstairs will remain closed but eventually will be opened to patrons.
Upstairs: Funky seats and "tables".
Upstairs: Cool floor
Overall, my experience was beyond impressive. I was really looking forward to attending this event as I've watched the space in construction mode for what felt like over a year.
This large fish door, facing Glenwood Ave. is what I've seen on my drive-bys for a long time. Pretty interesting door so I 've been eager to see what would eventually open up in there. Now I know. Now that I've checked out the inside and sampled their eats and drinks, I can see why it took as long as it did to get the place ready for business. A grerat deal of attention was spent on every little detail, and there are a lot of details.
I'd recommend Vidrio to all foodies. Great for casual dinner, special occasions, business meetings, drinks, date-nights and , well, since Valentine's Day is coming up, I'd say get your reservations in place now. Total win!
Had a great experience with a couple of employees, Ebony, our bartender, and Ioannis who handles the special events. Cheers & good eats!