By CHRISTIANA ROUSSEL
A recent Friday evening had this Mountain Brook resident rubbing her eyes in disbelief: there was a veritable traffic jam in English Village. From my vantage point at a white-tablecloth-clad table on the pea-gravel-lined courtyard, I saw dozens of people make their way into the new restaurant at the corner of Cahaba Road and 20th Street South. VINO, open now for just a couple of months, is situated in the heart of English Village but diners will immediately find themselves feeling like they’re somewhere on the Cote d’Azur or Amalfi Coast.
Opened by Birmingham restaurateur Al Rabiee, VINO’s menu boasts such offerings as calamari, salmon artichoke skewers, salads, beef and chicken kabobs, simple grilled fish and more. My daughter, Amanda, and I were enjoying a girls’ night out and ordered several things to share. We started with the Artichoke Castroville featuring large California artichoke hearts filled with Bulgarian feta, plump sun-dried tomatoes and herbs. There were four pieces in this appetizer, priced at $6.50. Friends at nearby tables were busy enjoying their choices too: VINO Hummus ($5), Spice Shrimp ($7.75) and market-priced crab claws. Continue reading