Glenwood South is home to some old Raleigh favorites like Hibernian Restaurant & Pub, and The Rockford, but it’s soon to be home to some exciting new restaurants as well. One such restaurant is Vidrio, a new Mediterranean concept restaurant owned by LM Restaurant Group. This is the same group that owns and operates popular Triangle favorites like Carolina Ale House and Taverna Agora. Vidrio is located at the bottom of the Carolina Ale House building and opened its doors for business on January 23rd. Luckily, I got the opportunity to get a little sneak peek of the menu the week before the grand opening.
Just walking up to Vidrio, you can tell the restaurant is going to be beautiful. You’re greeted by a fountain and beautiful blue and white tile floors. Once you walk in to the restaurant you’re hit with punch of color. The space is huge and the two story high wall in the dining rooms is filled with beautiful pieces of stained glass. After admiring the space for a moment, my friend and I made our way to the bar for dinner. The bar felt a little darker, but was still eccentric and fun, with wooden dowels making works of art from the ceiling.
The bartender explained to us that the menu was made using a Mediterranean philosophy, so most things are meant to share. We started with the Prince Edward Island Mussels ($12), which were fairly large and extremely flavorful. The garlic sauce on them was so good that we had to ask for extra bread to soak it all up. Did I mention they bring a basket of fresh bread with olive oil? That is always a plus in my book. Next, we tried the Chickpea Panisse and Eggplant Caponata ($12). This was a little fried patty made of chickpeas and topped with small pieces of eggplant, picholine olives, golden raisins, and pinenuts, which were all tossed in a tomato-based sauce. I didn’t really know what to expect but I really enjoy this dish as well. My favorite part was the Chickpea Panisse, which was nice and crispy on the outside but extremely soft on the inside. The texture made for an interesting combination when eaten with the Eggplant Caponata.
Next we moved on to the “From the Garden” portion of the menu. From here we chose the Brussel Sprouts. I am a huge lover of sprouts, so I’ll pretty much get them anywhere if they’re on the menu. These sprouts were tasty, with the secret ingredient of guanciale, a form of pork. From personal preference, I do wish they had been a little crispier, but we cleared the plate nonetheless. We ended our meal with the Rotisserie Pork Shoulder ($22), which was honey brined and served with romesco sauce. While I thought it was a little overcooked, the flavors of the dish were really nice. The romesco sauce almost tasted like a red pepper hummus and it paired very well with the pork shoulder, which had a bit of a smoky taste.
Overall I was very satisfied with my meal at Vidrio. The large amount of small plates on the menu makes this a great place to come try lots of different things and share with your friends. The diversity of the menu also offers something everyone will like. Don’t forget to check out the cocktails, which were amazing, or one or two of the over 50 wines on tap. So if you like enjoying good food while admiring stunning décor (who doesn’t?!) I’d recommend giving this newcomer a shot.
Note: From time to time we’re invited out to try a restaurant or to try certain products. This meal or items are usually comped, as these was. We’re under no obligation to write a positive review or any review at all when we’re invited out to try a place. Every review you see on our site will be an honest review of the place whether or not the restaurant provided us with the meal at their cost.
Melissa Guido is currently a dietetic intern in the Triangle area. She studied nutrition at NC State and Meredith College. Her favorite part about nutrition is showing people that healthy food can be exciting and delicious. Melissa loves traveling and learning about how food fits into different cultures. In her free time she loves trying new restaurants, cooking, and obsessing over her dogs. Follow her on Instagram @made2order and at www.madeorder.wordpress.com.