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.