Out and about in Birmingham, Alabama…
Lots of natural light from the front floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors. Moody, dark-stained, reclaimed wood with black iron accents. White and grey marble accent backspash on bar, framed by two large open wine racks and a vintage mirror.
Most unique aspect of Bettola is the open prep kitchen in the back, complete with a glass, display-light case of housemade charcuterie and sausages.
Overall, a little cold and aloof. I walked in and was greeted by a very cheerful and prompt hostess, but waited at the empty bar for 5 minutes (bartender at post) before I was acknowledged or approached. However, I’m sure the huddle of waitstaff at the opposite side of the bar had some 911-gossip they needed to attend to with the bartender that was far superior to my getting a menu…The bartender was very slow and not personable at all, which was odd since I was his only customer. Didn’t ask if I had any questions, or if I had dined there before, or if I needed anything, etc. Very odd. For an Italian restaurant, I expected a little more welcoming and chatty atmosphere. There’s no “when you’re here, you’re family” vibe like that chain Italian place in every American town. Is this the tradeoff for local Italian?