A NEW restaurant in the heart of Albury is serving food for the soul inspired by family traditions throughout the Mediterranean Basin.
Aida Albury is the joint venture of Albury couple Sarah El Kadi and Matt Wehbeh and Wodonga businesswoman Bernadette Torresan.
Ms El Kadi said the Mediterranean-style restaurant was a tribute to her Lebanese mother Aida, who passed away four years ago.
She said food shared with family and friends was central to growing up in Lebanon on the Mediterranean Sea.
"We always ate on the balcony and we always had people over to share food," she said.
"Mum was the life of the party and an amazing cook; many of Mum's recipes are on the menu."
Having already founded Downtown Pizzeria in Albury during mid-2015, Mr Wehbeh and Ms El Kadi asked Ms Torresan in October to come on board for Aida.
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The brainchild behind GO Local Media Group, Ms Torresan said the timing was right to bring broad-based Mediterranean cuisine - from Lebanon, Greece, Turkey, Spain and Italy - to Albury.
Having trained in Italian restaurants at Griffith during her late teens and early 20s, Ms Torresan said she relished the return to hospitality.
"Food was always important in my family and especially the love of sharing food," she said.
"When Matt and Sarah asked me to come on board it was a match made in heaven!"
In three months the trio has built a menu, hired staff and renovated the Dean Street venue featuring a custom-made charcoal grill in the courtyard.
Aida offers Mediterranean share plates, international and local wine and cocktails for dinner Wednesday to Sunday and lunch Thursday to Sunday. It will close Christmas Day and reopen on December 29.
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