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Seven Holiday Cocktails to Sip on in Raleigh, N.C.

Vidrio Nutcracker Treats Cocktail

The holidays are here! Bars and restaurants around Raleigh have transformed into winter wonderlands and are serving up delicious, festive drinks in celebration. Try these most perfect holiday cocktails at some of the City of Oaks’ favorite nightlife spots.

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Nutcracker Treats Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy Cocktail

Nutcracker Treats Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy Cocktail

The 25 Best Dishes in Raleigh


Check out this article published in the September issue of Raleigh Magazine, their Annual Restaurant Issue, featuring Vidrio’s signature Charred Octopus! Voted by Raleigh Magazine and the top 25 dishes in Raleigh.


From the article:

Seafood so fresh, you’d think you’re at the beach. Down-home dishes that’d make any Southern granny proud. Vegetarian delights and international influences…we’ve got it all in our comprehensive list of Raleigh’s 25 Best Dishes (plus 10 standout starters). For our annual Best Restaurants issue, let us assure you, the competition was fierce; a sheer abundance of local culinary talent, not to mention restaurants whose menus are subject to change daily, made it especially hard for us to choose from among our many, many, many standard menu faves. It was a tough job but you know we had to do it. Now it’s your turn—try them all this fall.

30 Great Rehearsal Dinner Restaurants in Raleigh, N.C.

Your rehearsal dinner meal is one of the most important of your life—and you can’t go wrong with restaurants, from award-winning chefs’ to nationally-known hot spots in Raleigh, N.C. Check out our handpicked list of 30 great restaurants, proven to please:


Vidrio is a colorful window into the flavors and soul of the Mediterranean kitchen. A creative expression of the passion, people and lifestyle that have embodied a timeless culture. An evening with Vidrio is an evening to savor, slowly. The dinner table is where you reconnect after a long day apart. A place to gather together and truly unwind over artfully crafted cocktails, bold wines and plates made to share. The menu is an ode to traditional Mediterranean dining, with both imported specialties and local, honest ingredients that embody a passion for earth, flavor and wine.

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Experience the Artistry of Vidrio

Vidrio offers a delicious menu featuring Mediterranean traditions made with NC ingredients, paired with a stunning interior—seriously, it’s what fine art is made of.


Vidrio is introducing fine Mediterranean dining to Glenwood South, and while the food creations are mouth-watering, the decor is the real show-stopper here. With rope chandeliers, blown glass decorations (Vidrio means “glass” in Spanish), ceramic tiles and more, the interior by itself is worth a visit. On the menu, you will find a blend of Turkish, Spanish, Greek, Moroccan and Lebanese cuisine, plus 50 wines on tap and a creative list of craft cocktails (the Amortentia, a gin and tea-based drink, changes color as you drink it).

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Vidrio opens Monday on Glenwood

 — Vidrio, a new restaurant that aims to give patrons a window into the Mediterranean, opens its doors Monday on Glenwood Avenue.

“At Vidrio, our guests will be transported to the Mediterranean, experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells of the region,” founder and owner of LM Restaurants, Lou Moshakos, said via a press release. “We are proud to bring a new concept to Raleigh for people to try something vibrant and flavorful.”

The project has been eight years in the making. LM Restaurants purchased the building back in 2008, with the plans to put a Carolina Ale House on the top floor and take time to build out the first and second floors for Vidrio.

Vidrio is housed in a 13,500 square-foot space that also includes a second floor banquet and semi-private meeting space upstairs. The second floor also boasts its own kitchen.

The daily menu features a mix of Spanish, Greek, Italian, Lebanese, Moroccan and other coastal flavors. There will be a focus on fresh seafood and slow-roasted meat. Guests will be able to watch as executive chef Ian Sullivan and his team prepare food on the wood-fired grill and stone hearth oven.

The rotating menu will include snacks, small plates and shareable platter-style meals.

Snacks include olives and spiced nuts and dips such as harissa, hummus and baba ganoush. Small plate selections will include a rotating list of cheese, seafood, and charcuterie, in addition to beer tartare with a pomegranate gastric herb salad, chestnut gnocchi in a parmesan broth, and flatbreads. There will also be fresh seafood, including grilled octopus, grilled prawns with grapefruit and winter greens, and scallop crudo with fennel and pickled lemon.

The larger, shareable plates will include whole grilled fish, such as a snapper with scallions, basil and mint, or seared salmon with pistachio pesto, and various pastas such as linguini all’amatriciana with tomato and guanciale, and black rice risotto with confit mushrooms and pecorino romano.

The bar menu will include more than 50 wines on tap, 300 bottles and craft cocktails. The signature cocktail, a gin and tea-based drink called the “Amortentia,” changes colors from blue to purple as it’s made and the longer it sits on the table.

Vidrio is also importing its own olive oil directly from the Lou Moshakos’ Greek village.

Vidrio is Spanish for “glass” and its decor reflects that. The main dining room has a wall with more than 350 hand-blown glass pieces. Keeping with the theme, design elements also include hand-painted tiles, mosaics, wooden dowels, rope chandeliers, original European furnishings and custom guillotine windows.

Vidrio opens Monday for dinner. It will also be serving up brunch on Sundays. Valet parking is complimentary for Vidrio guests.

LM Restaurants also owns Taverna Agora, a Greek restaurant on Hillsborough Street.

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Raleigh Hotspot Vidrio is also a Crazy Beautiful Wedding Venue

A Unique Wedding Venue in Raleigh – the Vidrio restaurant upstairs bar and event space overlooking Glenwood South


The new Vidrio restaurant that opened on Glenwood South in Raleigh last year has a big city vibe with a look to rival an art gallery. Not only has their Mediterranean food and themed restaurant garnered rave reviews from the get-go, but Vidrio has some of the most unique wedding event options in Raleigh. The second level of the restaurant is a majestic private event space that maintains intimacy while enjoying the spectacular atmosphere of the restaurant.


So how does a bride who wants to stand out with a different venue, and her own personal style combine it all? Wedding planner Gina Myers of La Cosa Bella Events picked a talented team of NC wedding vendors to help her create a sophisticated wedding look in this beautiful restaurant with an eclectic mix of nouveau Greek, Spanish and ’60s mod décor. Robin Lin Photography captured the entire “wedding day” in vibrant photography that matched this unique wedding venue in Raleigh.


Wedding Party Gathering at Vidrio – a Unique Wedding Venue in Raleigh


Wedding party attire goes a long way to bring together the look of a wedding. In this case, the sleek looks of the bride, groom and their best man / bridesmaid duo match the upscale, big city look of Vidrio, a unique wedding venue in Raleigh.


Our bride wears an unadorned silk gown with sexy slits to the knee from downtown Raleigh wedding dress shop, Gilded Bridal, and carries a contemporary petite bouquet of cymbidium orchids from Fresh Affairs. In true minimalist approach, the bridesmaids attire is effortlessly chic with a dark emerald Theia gown with a high neck from Bella Bridesmaids – who has a Triangle location in Cary. The ladies wore Betsey Johnson sparkly heels from Belk. Vidrio is one of only a handful of Raleigh wedding venues that have an on site bridal suite. So the hair stylist, Wedding Hair by Liz, and the makeup artist, Perfection by Patricia, came on location to style the ladies.


The groom is in a black tie with a new tailored fit from Bernard’s Formalwear. A striped bow tie distinguishes his best man. Before guests arrive, the bar area at Vidrio makes a great location for wedding party portraits!


Artsy and Modern Design for this Vidrio Wedding Matches the Contemporary Event Space


A Vidrio wedding is a one of a kind experience, but can be heavily influenced by the event team. La Cosa Bella Events designed a contemporary look for this unique wedding venue in Raleigh. The design accentuated the already modern and crazy beautiful features of Vidrio!


A wedding arch created entirely of magnolia leaf columns and abundant ferns and palms by Fresh Affairs as a perfect match for this artsy balcony. A paper suite in rich indigo watercolors includes the invitation, reply card, menu and calligraphy place cards. The welcome sign on a mirror was also painted by Jessica of Impressions Stationery. She also tied in the contemporary look with acrylic menus at the reception.


Wedding Reception at Vidrio Raleigh – a Fine Dining Experience in an Unforgettable Atmosphere


This entire upstairs of Vidrio is devoted to private events, and oversized windows can be turned into an open air experience during warmer weather. The size of the rooms make events here feel intimate, while allowing for a casual flow throughout the evening. The wedding reception space at Vidrio Raleigh overlooks the famous glass blown wall. The wedding party and guest tables are set in view of the jaw-droppingly beautiful wall of blown glass bowls and orbs (Vidrio means glass in Spanish). The vivid rainbow of colors are mimicked in the low row of bright variety of jewel-toned blossoms on the long tables. A mix of textured linens with velvet linens, bronze and white seatings, glass vessels and both modern and eclectic accents express fun and flair. An amazing designer cake by Pastry Works has hand-painted pastel watercolor accents with town fondant ruffles, layers of colored buttercream on the middle tier and edible bubble-sugar accents.


One of the things that make Vidrio a unique wedding venue in Raleigh is that it’s also an upscale Mediterranean restaurant on Glenwood South. With an extensive menu of small plates that creatively bring the flavors of the Mediterranean into traditional and modern dishes, the cuisine is truly to die for. There are also over 50 wines on tap plus a robust collection of domestic and international bottles for your guests to enjoy during a Vidrio wedding celebration.


La Cosa Bella Events planned this shoot with a vendor group pulled together a talented group of Southern Bride and Groom recommended vendors to design this Vidrio wedding. We loved the combination of classic and modern trends for this beautiful and unique event space in Raleigh.

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Classic To Unexpected – Places in Raleigh NC to Host Your Rehearsal Dinner

Your wedding reception checklist is underway – caterer, cake, rentals, favors… Time to relax, right? Not quite – you have another event entirely to think about: The Rehearsal Dinner! But don’t fret; the rehearsal dinner is not nearly as intense to plan as the wedding itself (plus, if you don’t have a wedding planner to plan this bash, you can always task your groom with the heavy lifting here). In fact, dare we say it, for many couples, the rehearsal dinner can be even more FUN than the wedding itself. It’s a chance to relax with your family and closest friends and to get all the wedding jitters (and tears) out ahead of the big day!


When planning your rehearsal dinner in the Raleigh, you’ll want to keep your guests in mind: Will they enjoy the food? Is the atmosphere warm and welcoming? Does it showcase something you love about the local culinary scene? While most of the SB&G Preferred Venues are happy to host rehearsal dinners, it is often the most convenient for size and scale to choose a restaurant.

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Dining review: Vidrio’s dramatic setting leads to high expectations. The kitchen rises to meet them.

RALEIGH – Just outside the entrance to Vidrio, a curtain of water spills into a blue and white ceramic tile fountain. Reminiscent of a Mediterranean market square, the fountain sets a fitting mood for the restaurant’s menu, an ambitious contemporary take on the cuisines of the region. But it can’t prepare you for the stunning decor that awaits inside.


The first thing that catches your eye is a boldly colorful display of nearly 400 pieces of handblown glass spanning an entire wall of the cavernous two-story main dining room. The fanciful pieces, a tangible expression of the restaurant’s name (vidrio is Spanish for glass), are arranged by color, gradually transitioning from warm reds and yellows to sparkling blues and greens in a pattern that suggests a sunset over the Mediterranean.


And that’s just one of the many dramatic design elements in a place that feels as much like a modern art gallery as a restaurant. Everywhere you turn, there’s an echo of the Mediterranean motif: massive rope chandeliers that with a little imagination could be ship’s rigging; a framework sculpture of interlocking wooden cubes that call to mind stacked produce crates, hanging from the ceiling in one of the smaller mezzanine level dining rooms; framed panels of woven wood – fisherman’s baskets? – suspended above the bar; and in the corners of the lounge, crated earthenware casks that you’re guessing may once have contained olive oil or wine.


If the setting sets the imagination soaring, it also inevitably leads to correspondingly high expectations of the food. The kitchen rises to those expectations, by and large, rarely falling short while delivering an ambitious offering that draws on cuisines from one end of the Mediterranean to the other for its inspiration.


Moroccan beef skewers, served with a harissa-spiced Greek yogurt, are a deservedly popular small plate offering. It’s also well worth your while, though, to set sail for the opposite end of the Mediterranean, where you’ll find a Turkish-inspired green chickpea hummus with house-made lavash.


While you’re underway, plan on pulling into port in Nice for France’s thin-crusted answer to pizza: pissaladière, in this case topped with caramelized olives, white anchovies and russet petals of serrano ham. (And yes, serrano is a Spanish ham. The Vidrio kitchen freely crosses borders, often combining compatible components of different cuisines in a single dish.)


Plan on a stop in Greece, too, for some of the tenderest octopus you’ve ever had, charred over an open flame and served over fat, meaty corona beans in a chorizo-punctuated vinaigrette.


You could easily plan your entire itinerary around cruising the small plates islands. There are 18 of them, including a Merguez sausage tartine that was eighty-sixed the night I tried to order it; that will be my first stop next time.


You’ll need some willpower, though, to resist the siren call of a large plates offering that runs the gamut from black rice risotto (an earthy vegetarian presentation with confit mushrooms, kale and pecorino romano) to a wood-fired hanger steak with spring onion and black garlic oil.


My first port of call would be grilled market fish – sometimes snapper, but when I ordered it a whole branzino. Its flesh sweet and moist beneath an expertly charred skin, the fish was paired with a light citrus-dressed salad and attractively garnished with a charred lemon half, a sprig of thyme and a fresh bay leaf.


House-made linguine all’amatriciana – with a good firm bite, tossed with guanciale in a light tomato sauce punctuated with crushed red pepper – is another worthy destination. So is chicken vadouvan, with the caveat that the dish’s namesake French curry spice is so subtle as to be all but undetectable. The chicken itself, though, is a lusciously juicy half bird with a well-browned skin.


And I certainly wouldn’t object to a return visit to the rotisserie-roasted pork shoulder I landed on one night, its succulent flesh complimented by a classic romesco sauce. The cut of pork changes from time to time – recently, it was a pork rack – but like any seasoned traveler, I’m prepared to be flexible.


I’m not inclined to be forgiving, however, of a surprisingly dry chickpea and escarole salad (one of the half dozen or so listings in the market-driven “From the Garden” section of the menu). Or of a small plates offering of wood-fired prawns that’s even slightly overcooked. At $15 for three shrimp (whose size is admittedly worthy of the “prawns” designation), nothing short of perfection will satisfy.


I’m also hesitant to recommend the pear crostata for dessert. The filling is on point but the texture of the crust comes across more like a cross between pound cake and shortbread than the traditional pastry. Take your server’s advice instead and go for the chocolate bread pudding with kumquat caramel and some of the silkiest ice cream you’ve smacked your lips around.


Navigating the menu is smooth sailing for the most part, though, and recent turnover in the kitchen may well account for any choppy waters. William D’Auvray, formerly chef/owner of Fins and bu.ku, has taken the helm in a consulting role, with an eye to sharpening the menu’s focus and making it more broadly appealing. The first signs of change are already appearing in the form of reduced prices of some dishes, larger portions of others.


The changes should bring the Vidrio experience more in line with the original goal of owner Lou Moshakos. A veteran restaurateur with holdings across much of the Southeast (including Taverna Agora and Carolina Ale House locally), Moshakos has said he wants Vidrio to evoke the relaxed, soul-nurturing experience of meals in his native Greece. The food is a key element in creating that vibe, along with a bar with some 50 wines on tap and a dining room that offers a wide variety of seating options, from communal tables to leather banquettes to floral upholstered sofas.


The phrase “A moment for the time being,” written in large cursive script across the bottom of the wall of blown glass art, expresses the mood that Moshakos and his team are going for. In the grand scheme of themes, the duration of a meal may indeed be just a moment. But at Vidrio, the aim is clearly to make it a moment you won’t soon forget.

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Vidrio, a Colorful and Luxurious Take on Mediterranean Small Plates in Raleigh

Over on S. Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh, you’ll find a plethora of bars and clubs but surprisingly, not nearly as much in the way of restaurants. So it was with great curiosity as I watched a restaurant over in the 500 block of the street get built out over the past several months. I’m in the area frequently and the one thing I knew for certain was that it was going to be fancy and upscale! Eventually I uncovered that this new restaurant on S. Glenwood would be a wine and small plates affair and part of the expanding LM Restaurant Group famous for Carolina Ale House and Taverna Agora. Construction finished up at Vidrio in January of 2016 and I was finally able to go in for a couple of visits as a media person. If you’re curious about the newest restaurant in the S. Glenwood neighborhood, here’s what to expect!


As you approach Vidrio you quickly realize that’s it’s a fairly upscale spot given the valet stand up front. S. Glenwood can be a bit tough for parking so it’s a nice touch and a hint of what’s about to come. A gurgling blue tiled pool greets you at the entrance of Vidio and inside I was met by a trio of hostesses up front. The place smells great with its wood-fired ovens and it’s bustling for a pre-opening event. I meet up with the LM marketing representative, Kat and we start to tour the space. Facing the street-side of Vidrio, you’ll find a funky, modern space full of textures and patterns. Wood rods hang over the bar along with metal caged lamps in the seating area. A great spot to see and be seen off of Glenwood Avenue.


We head into the main dining room and that’s when you get the “oh, wow!” moment. Vidrio’s amazing blown glass wall shimmers and shines with color and organic shapes in the main dining room. There are over 700 of these beautiful custom glass plates mounted on the wall. And given its name (Vidrio – Italian for glass), you shouldn’t be surprised but you won’t find anything as impressive as the dining room at Vidrio. Thick, textured ropes hang overhead in a chandelier type configuration overhead to complete the decor here! In the back you’ll also find a raised dining area, the stage, with three large projection screens and a geometric cube installation overhead, very interesting…


We then move upstairs to Vidrio’s second floor and I’m not sure what to expect here! Kat shows me through Vidrio’s private dining areas which includes a brightly colored area and more subtly decorated banquet room (white-brown) which would be great for a wedding, party or special affair. But throughout all of Vidrio, the decor is done in a colorful and tasteful style, quite unique for the area.


We then check out the upstairs bar and lounge which is similar to the downstairs bar but sports sensuous, bent wood above, roll-up garage doors and some extra space. Vidrio is still figuring out details for this space but it will most likely be serving small plates and 50 wines on tap (350 bottled). But it’s a great looking spot, curious to see what they end up doing here.


And while my first visit to Vidrio was just a tour of the space, I was able to get back for a media dinner which gives me a pretty good idea of the cuisine here. It’s Mediterranean-style small plates that focuses heavily on fresh ingredients and the grill. Everything I tasted was well prepared and lightly seasoned, I’ll come back for a second visit before doing a final review of Vidrio. It’s still a bit early for them and they’re still in new restaurant shake-down mode.


So welcome to the neighborhood and welcome to the S. Glenwood party, Vidrio! Your space and decor are unmatched in the area for dining rooms and you’ve got an ambitious menu on tap. If you’re looking for a good date spot or private party, you should definitely stop in for a visit and check out their space and menu.

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Vidrio opens on Glenwood South with Mediterranean-inspired menu, decor

Vidrio has opened on Glenwood South, and owner Lou Moshakos pulled out all of the stops when it comes to its design.

The Mediterranean-themed restaurant is packed with what designers refer to as “wow factors.” And that’s what you notice before you even taste the food.


The restaurant, which opened Jan. 23, is on the first two floors of the same building that houses a Carolina Ale House, and it’s the antithesis of sports bar. With a theme of “Earth, Flavor, Wine,” the restaurant incorporates art in innovative ways.


Vidrio means “glass” in Spanish, which explains why the main wall of the dining room features more than 350 glass bowls and orbs that were created by artist Doug Frates, who owns a workshop in Ohio and trains veterans to blow glass. The orbs cover the two-story wall from top to bottom in a rainbow of colors with the phrase “A moment for the time being” painted below them, to remind diners to savor every flavorful bite.


The center of the dining room has huge rope chandeliers dangling from the second floor of the ceiling along with other structural mobiles.


In addition to the first floor bar, there’s one on the second floor. Together, they have 50 wines on tap and another 200 in bottles. There also is a cocktail menu.


The first floor bar is darker and more intimate, while the second floor bar is more spacious and has a variety of seating, from carved wood tables and stools to comfy leather couches. Or, you could possible squeeze two people in a chair that appears to be fashioned from a tree, limbs and all. The second floor also features private dining space and a dining room that looks like it could have been transported from a Mediterranean villa.


As for the food, the kitchen of executive chef Ian Sullivan and chef de cuisine Saif Rahman features shareable dishes and includes a variety of small and large plates with a combination of unexpected ingredients and flavors: roasted cauliflower soup with apple cardamom chutney, for example; black rice risotto with confit mushrooms; grilled prawns with grapefruit and winter greens.


Sullivan previously worked at the University Club in Durham and the Urban Food Group in Raleigh. Rahman worked with 21c Museum Hotel in Durham and World Central Kitchen by famed chef Jose Andres. You might see them in the kitchen, whose open window gives a peek into the bustle behind the scenes.


Mediterranean is interpreted broadly: Spanish, French, Greek, Italian, Turkish, Lebanese and Moroccan. A menu at a media preview had a sampling of the dishes that normally appear on the menu. The beef tartare comes with a pomegranate gastrique, or drizzle. Couscous is found in the garden and salad portion of the menu and is sprinkled with dates, apricots and watermelon radish. Hand-rolled agnolotti, a large plate, is handmade pasta purses filled with mascarpone and parsnips.


The menu currently on Vidrio’s website has many of those dishes but has varied a few of the ingredients.


Small plates include green chickpea hummus, scallop crudo, chestnut gnocchi, mussels and wood-fired prawns.


Other large plates include seared salmon with pistachio pesto, grass-fed grilled ribeye and a rotisserie pork shoulder that’s brined in honey.


Small plates are $6 to $30 (the average price is about $12). Large plates are $18 to $28, though the ribeye is $60.


The restaurant comes from Lou Moshakos, a native of Lykovrisi, Greece, and founder of LM Restaurants Inc. (The restaurant imports olive oil from Moshakos’ village.)


The company is affiliated with 21 restaurants in the Southeast, including Carolina Ale House and Taverna Agora on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. Vidrio is the “anchor concept” for Platinum Portfolio, a new group of “high-end, event-styled destinations,” according to the company.


Info: Vidrio is at 500 Glenwood Ave., Suite 100, Raleigh. It is open 4:30-11 p.m., Monday to Friday; 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and 5-10 p.m. Sunday. Brunch will be served Sundays starting March 5. Go to

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Inside Vidrio

The inside of Vidrio is unbelievable. I can say this because I’ve already dined inside the new Mediterranean restaurant on Glenwood, even though it doesn’t open until tonight (January 23rd). Since I’m an influencer now, people invite me to super exclusive events so that I’ll take pictures and post them on social media. I’m not an official “food critic” but that doesn’t matter. If you have thousands of followers on multiple social media platforms and can take a picture of a plate of food with your iPhone, you’re considered an “influencer”. Welcome to 2017.


Last week, I attended a special sneak peek of Vidrio, which occupies the first two floors of 500 Glenwood Avenue, below the Carolina Ale House. Raleigh restauranteur, Lou Moshakos, a native of Lykovrisi, Greece, is the man behind the new restaurant. He’s also the owner of LM Restaurants, the hospitality group that brought Raleigh the Carolina Ale House, Taverna Agora, and more.


Spanish for “glass”, Vidrio is an “ode to traditional Mediterranean dining, with both imported specialties and local, honest ingredients” according to their website.


It seems that their tagline is “Earth. Flavor. Wine.” so they’re clearly going after the ITB mom demographic. With 50 wines on tap and 300 more from the bottle, I’d say this place will be a hit among that demo. Here’s my full review.


The Décor
Nearly 400 pieces of stunningly colorful handblown glass are hung on one wall, visible from both floors of the restaurant. Chandeliers of rope hang above wooden tables in the main dining area.


The second floor features multiple dining areas that overlook the first floor. The 50 wines on tap are located on the second floor wine bar, which should open in the spring.


The wraparound windows on the second floor retract and will be open during warmer weather. When asked, management indicated they would be willing to open the windows during snowstorms in order to funnel wine out to mothers driving by in their SUVs on Glenwood.


I can see why they spent years designing and planning this place. It’s amazing.


ITB Rating: 5 out of 5 beltines


The Food
Salad – I forgot what kind of salad this was, but it was good. It was composed of lettuce and stuff that you would find in a salad. No one goes to restaurants for the salad. Give me a break here.
Cheese – I don’t remember what any of the cheeses were called and I couldn’t pronounce them if you paid me to. They were good though.
Hummus and flatbread – This was really good, better than the standard hummus you’d get elsewhere.
Hanger steak – this was actually prepared by Salt Bae himself and was delicious.


ITB Rating: 4 out of 5 beltlines


The Wine and Cocktails
They wouldn’t let me try all 50 wines on tap and all 300 from the bottle, but I did try a few cocktails. I really enjoyed the Mediterranean Mule, Vidrio’s take on the Moscow Mule. I can’t recall what was in it, but it did have an extra kick to it (I’m so sorry).


ITB Rating: 4 out of 5 beltlines


As you can see from my exquisite camera phone pictures and thorough critique of the menu, this is a place worth checking out. I failed to take pictures of the bar on the first floor, which was equally as impressive as the rest of the restaurant.


Overall ITB Rating: 4.3 out of 5 beltlines


Vidrio opens on January 23rd. Stay tuned for more in-depth food and restaurant reviews.

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Vidrio – Unlike Anything in Downtown Raleigh

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. 😉


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!

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More than two dozen N.C. chefs, brewers to participate in N.C. Governor’s Inaugural Ball

RALEIGH, Jan. 4, 2017 – A Taste of North Carolina, which features chefs and brewers from around the state, returns to the 2017 N.C. Governor’s Inaugural Ball with food and beer samples.


“We have confirmation from 17 restaurants and ten breweries that will participate, and we could not be more excited about the willingness to support this year’s Inaugural Ball,” said Rebecca Ayers, President of the Junior League of Raleigh.


Among the restaurants and breweries participating in the ball: 18 Seaboard (Raleigh), Atelier Bakery (Winston-Salem), Bida Manda (Raleigh), Brueprint Brewing Company (Apex), Chapel Hill Toffee (Chapel Hill), Clouds Brewing (Raleigh), Cowfish (Raleigh), Crank Arm Brewing (Raleigh), Death & Taxes (Raleigh), Fullsteam Brewery (Durham), Highland Brewing Company (Asheville), Hi-Wire Brewing (Asheville), Koi Pond Brewing Company (Rocky Mount), lucettegrace (Raleigh), Maple View Farm Ice Cream (Hillsborough), Nightbell (Asheville), Oak and Dagger Public House (Raleigh), Piedmont (Durham), The Pit Authentic Barbecue (Raleigh), Ponysaurus Brewing (Durham), Porchetta (Durham), Raleigh Cake Pops (Raleigh), Sam Jones BBQ (Winterville), Sassool (Raleigh), Vidrio (Raleigh) and White Street Brewing Company (Wake Forest).


History of the Junior League and the N.C. Governor’s Inaugural Ball


For the 21st time in its 87-year history, the Junior League of Raleigh will host the 2017 N.C. Governor’s Inaugural Ball Jan. 5-7, 2017, honoring the newly-elected governor, lieutenant governor and the members of the Council of State.


“We have been hard at work planning the Governor’s Inaugural Ball for more than two years,” Ayers said. “It takes a team of four chairs, 90 committee members and 300 volunteers thousands of volunteer hours to organize and execute every detail of the Inaugural Ball events that celebrate North Carolina’s food, music and people.”


All proceeds from the nonpartisan Inaugural Ball events go back to the community through the Junior League of Raleigh. Past Inaugural Balls have benefited SAFEchild, Communities in Schools of North Carolina, Heritage Park’s Community Learning Center, the Boys & Girls Club and the Julia Jones Daniels Center for Community Leadership.


The inspiration for this year’s events comes from the North Carolina State Toast. Used for special occasions, including the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the toast is a tour of our great state and a celebration of what makes it special.


Scheduled events for the 2017 Inaugural Ball include:


The Rock the Ball concert from 7 p.m. – midnight on Thursday, January 5 at Lincoln Theatre.
The Council of State Reception from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. on Friday, January 6 at Marbles Kids Museum.
The Governor’s Reception, the Gala Presentation and the Inaugural Ball from 6 p.m. – midnight on Saturday, January 7 at N.C. State University’s newly renovated William Neal Reynolds Coliseum and Talley Student Union.


Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Sponsorships are also available by contacting


About the Junior League of Raleigh:

The Junior League of Raleigh, which has more than 1,600 members, is the local chapter of the Association of Junior Leagues International, an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. To learn more about the Junior League of Raleigh, visit

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Vidrio To Open In Glenwood South For Mediterranean Experience Dining

Family-style dining restaurant will offer vibrant regional cuisine and 50-plus wines on tap
Restaurant opens for dinner on Monday, Jan. 23

RALEIGH, N.C.Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Vidrio, a new Mediterranean-style dining experience from hospitality group LM Restaurants, will open its doors for dinner on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 at 500 Glenwood Ave. Offering fresh seafood and an impressive wine selection, Vidrio will bring a fusion of Spanish, French, Greek, Italian, Turkish, Lebanese, Moroccan, and other Mediterranean flavors right to the heart of Raleigh’s thriving Glenwood South District. Raleighites will be able to explore a window into global flavor in an intimate family setting with plates made to share. The daily menu offers dishes inspired by seaside tradition and a robust beverage program.

Vidrio invites guests to experience the soul of Mediterranean cuisine through the sensibilities of the earth, flavor, and wine. The restaurant will offer more than 50 wines on tap (including vermouth and sherry) plus another 200 bottles, along with specialty craft cocktails. This scale of variety is unmatched in the area for beverage offerings.

The daily menu will give a nod to all Mediterranean countries of influence, with every dish and cocktail crafted to invigorate the senses. Vidrio imports its own olive oil directly from the founder’s Greek village while collaborating with area farmers and purveyors to source the freshest local ingredients and serve wholesome meals paired with bold wines that please palatesGuests will be able to share the simple elegance of slow-roasted meat and cheese plates, wood-fired fish, and fresh crudo and tartare, while experiencing Mediterranean cuisine served in an homage to this ancient region. The Grilled Octopus dressed in Vrisi 36 EVOO with fresh herbs, Roasted Mussels with fresh tomatoes in a saffron white wine broth, and the fresh mushroom and herb goat cheese crostini are examples of simple, ingredient forward dishes.  At Vidrio, each menu item is carefully crafted with the utmost care and consideration, focusing on the flavors of the ingredients as the main showcase of the meal.

Leading Vidrio’s kitchen will be Executive Chef Ian Sullivan, previously with the University Club in Durham, North Carolina, and the Urban Food Group of Raleigh. Chef de Cuisine is Saif Rahman, previously of 21c Museum and Hotel in Durham, and World Central Kitchen organization by Chef Jose Andres. Overseeing the hospitality and restaurant business will be General Manager Ron Didner, previously with Six Points Restaurant Group of Philadelphia and the Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond in St. Michaels, Maryland. Ioannis “Yanni” Theodorou, previously with McCormick & Schmick’s, will coordinate all events and catering as private dining and catering sales manager. Rounding out front of house will be Ahmed Hasan, most recently from Fleet Street Kitchen in Baltimore, as beverage manager and chief mixologist.

Complementing the vibrancy of its menu, Vidrio’s unique two-story open space interior resonates the feeling of timeless coastal communities from the south of Spain to the Turkish Islands, through Egypt and Morocco. Vidrio is Spanish for “glass,” reflecting the Mediterranean culture in both the name and design of the restaurant. Stunning design elements include a rainbow of handblown glass, colorful mosaics of unique hand-painted tiles, original European furnishings, and custom guillotine windows from Turkey offering patrons panoramic views of the area. Hundreds of wooden dowels hang about the bar area, and rope chandeliers adorn the dining room, both moving with the wind as if by a sea breeze. The open kitchen gives guests a clear view of the wood-fired grill and stone hearth oven for a rare glimpse into the work behind their meal and the zesty aroma of fresh baking bread and grilled seafood.

“At Vidrio, we are offering an authentic window into the Mediterranean in a modern and playful setting,” said Lou Moshakos, president and owner of LM Restaurants. “We look forward to sharing our tables with people who want to experience the Mediterranean lifestyle right here in Raleigh.”

Vidrio also offers a variety of private event spaces with a separate bar and catering kitchen. The spaces are suited to accommodate groups ranging from 10 to 250 people.

James Beard-nominated best restaurateur Giorgios Bakatsias and ARCHE design USA consulted on Vidrio and was responsible for its design elements and menu authenticity. Bakatsias has over 30 years of experience in the culinary industry and has been the creative force behind restaurants across the area including Bin 54 and Kipos, both in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His business partner and fellow thought architect, Theodore Kondylis, is based in Athens, Greece.

Open for dinner and brunch on Sundays, Vidrio will offer free valet parking to its guests. For more information or for reservations, please call 919-803-6033 or visit

Vidrio is the anchor concept in LM Restaurants’ new Platinum Portfolio, a planned group of high-end, event-styled destination locations focused on offering fine dining, professional chefs, and top-quality service.

Vidrio, a family-style restaurant, was launched in 2016 in Glenwood South in Raleigh, North Carolina, to offer diners a unique Mediterranean dining experience. It is part of LM Restaurants as the latter’s first Platinum Portfolio restaurant. Vidrio features family-style shared plates with Mediterranean inspiration and influences. The restaurant has more than 50 wines on tap and another 200 in bottles. Vidrio is focused on taste and chef-driven recipes, with a daily rotating menu based on locally-sourced, fresh ingredients. At Vidrio, guests begin with wine and small bites, then progress to hearty dishes freshly prepared for the whole table to share.

Beneath Carolina Ale House, Moshakos to open new restaurant in Glenwood South

Raleigh restaurateur Lou Moshakos is finalizing details for his long-planned Mediterranean restaurant concept that will anchor the bottom floors of his three-story restaurant building at 500 Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh.

The new restaurant will be called Vidrio, which is Spanish for “glass.” According to a news release about the project, it will be positioned as “the looking glass into the Mediterranean.”

Its menu will feature 50 wines by the glass and cuisine with flavors from the Mediterranean served on sharable small plates.

Construction will begin in July, and the restaurant is expected to open in the fall. It will be located below the third-level, rooftop Carolina Ale House restaurant that LM Restaurants Inc. opened in January.

The three-story 500 Glenwood restaurant building was also honored on April 30 with a 2015 Imprint Award by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, honoring projects that have contributed to the economic vitality of the Downtown District.

Photos: New rooftop Carolina Ale House in downtown Raleigh

Moshakos, owner of LM Restaurants, is also bringing in another big-shot name in the Raleigh restaurant industry to help, George Bakatsias, a longtime friend of the Moshakos family.

Bakatsias will be aiding in the development of Vidrio’s menu design and brand. Bakatsias is a founder and partner in 10 other restaurants in the Triangle region, including Parizade and Vin Rouge in Durham and City Kitchen and Bin Fifty-Four in Chapel Hill. He was a James Beard Award semifinalist in 2014 for outstanding restaurateur.