Vin’tij Food and Wine – An Evolving Concept
Todd Reber, owner and creative force behind Vin’tij Food & Wine, is a big believer in evolution. In growth and change. His wine store/wine bar/restaurant in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, is living proof of that. “The Vin’tij concept has always been focused on evolution, and we have no plans to stay the same,” says Reber.
“We look at our business as a creative project that truly has no boundaries. There will always be new culinary dishes, new events, and new wines to choose from. This way the Vin’tij team never gets bored, and neither will our guests – there is always something new just around the corner.”
Vin’tij started out just over twenty years ago as a small, wine-centric bistro situated between two fast food places in a strip center. The recent relocation to Grand Boulevard has afforded Reber and his team the opportunity to evolve into a 6,000 square foot restaurant in a prime location that attracts visitors from all over. “There is a unique synergy at Grand Boulevard, and we wanted to be part of it,” Reber says. “Our restaurant is surrounded by distinguished shops, local boutiques, art galleries, and other award-winning restaurants, and there are cool events and festivals going on all the time.”
Reber, who earned a degree in marketing from FSU, has been working in the restaurant industry for over thirty years. He was drawn to the aspect of creating a business, then working to make it grow and evolve and take on a life, a personality, of its own. “I see our business continuing to grow and change thanks to the creativity of our chef de cuisine Ignacio Bernal, and also to my wife Sabrina, who keeps the interior of the restaurant fresh and interesting and vibrant,” he says. “I also intend to continue my education in the wine industry, through my extensive travels to experience wines and wineries around the world.”
The restaurant finds inspiration for its décor in the fusion of the west coast wine country with the beach aesthetic of the gulf coast. “You’ll see the coastal influence in the colors as soon as you walk in,” says Reber. “The many shades of blue, the white distressed wood, and the Capiz shell chandeliers place us firmly here on the Gulf of Mexico. The west coast is reflected in our mosaic wine cork table for twelve, and in the wooden wine box wall.” In addition, there are two permanent mosaic art installations of the Vin’tij logo, created by Reber and his family. “We call it our family tree,” he explains. “Our last name, Reber, means ‘keeper of the vineyard,’ and the logo is a gnarly wine-grape vine. We hand-cut every piece of mirrored glass, hand-glued them to the wall, then grouted and acid-washed it. This was a real labor of love for us, and it’s interesting that some people see a tree, others see a piece of coral – it’s a juxtaposition of our two coasts.”
Vin’tij is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, and features a weekend brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Local seafood is the highlight of the dinner menu, but there are a variety of meat-based entrees plus vegetarian and vegan options. The restaurant also offers educational, multi-course winemaker dinners, which allow the staff to be creative in selecting foods to complement the particular wines, providing the diner with a unique dining experience. In addition to the full service restaurant menu, there are plenty of options to stock up on wines from around the world, and great wine advice available from the knowledgeable staff. Private events are easily accommodated in the Vin’tij Bodega, which seats fifty and is equipped with audiovisual equipment for presentations or slideshows, making it ideal for small business functions. Vin’tij is happy to accommodate private wine tastings, parties and wedding receptions, and other special events.
Todd Reber and his talented and dedicated team at Vin’tij look forward to continuing to serve diners from around the neighborhood and around the world and continuing to grow and evolve to meet and exceed diners’ expectations.
VIN’TIJ FOOD & WINE
500 GRAND BOULEVARD #100K
SANDESTIN FL 32550
Photography by Collis Thompson, Mellow Media Photography