VB Lounge, a chic new eatery and craft cocktail bar in historic downtown Chandler, unveiled its classy vibe and novel menu when it opened its doors in December. VB and its sister restaurant, the award-winning Va Bene in Ahwatukee, are owned by Sasha and Donna Cosic.
“We have owned and operated Va Bene for 20 years,” Sasha Cosic said. “Donna will still be managing the Ahwatukee restaurant, while I will be running VB Lounge. We are excited to be opening up a new and exciting concept in downtown Chandler.”
He brings decades of experience to VB Lounge, as he has owned numerous Valley restaurants, but there’s nothing traditional about the new project. Cosic wanted to bring in fresh, young and contemporary talent for the kitchen. He found exactly that in a trio of best friends, all of whom are Le Cordon Bleu-trained chefs from Lon’s at Hermosa Inn.
“Executive chef, Brett Tratten, and his team of Anthony Soltys and Marty Heinrick have total control over the menu and the kitchen,” Cosic said. “These three young men are extraordinarily talented and inventive. Their fresh perspective and creativeness has resulted in some amazing food offerings.”
Tratten is particularly proud of his innovative “lollipop” creations.
“The fried chicken on the entrée menu is ‘fried chicken you can eat on a first date,’” Tratten said.
“I’ve taken a half-pound chicken and de-boned it, then rolled it and tied it back together around a single bone-stick. It’s slow-roasted then flash-fried and tastes just like grandma’s, but without the mess. I also created the pork belly and chicken lollipops as finger food so diners do not need utensils while eating appetizers at the coffee tables.”
The appetizers ranging in price from $5 to $40. The VB board, which is recommended for parties of four or more, includes a tartine (a French open-faced sandwich) and a large assortment of starters that the chefs select. Each VB board is different—each is a stunning presentation of fabulous, novel hors d’oeuvres for the adventurous palate ($40).
There are nine entrees including the half-pound cast iron Angus cheeseburger with beer-braised onion, New York white cheddar and Applewood bacon on a brioche bun ($14); slow-cooked pork on tortillas with garnish and avocado crema ($17); blackened salmon with black-eyed peas, cornbread and garlicky spinach ($20); and beef osso buco with a vanilla porter glaze, parsnip puree, winter vegetables and fingerling potatoes ($30).
Tartines, paninis, soup, side and entrée salads as well as nightly specials and desserts round out the menu.
“The three chefs make everything in-house including the dressings, sauces and even the pickles,” Cosic said. “Nothing is purchased premade. The tortillas and fry bread are not made until people order. Our food is handmade, fresh and healthy with a lot of slow cooking.”
There is something to be said for the bar, too.
“Along with the food, the craft cocktails are also amazing. Our wrap-around bar is the largest in the Valley,” he said. “All of the furniture and quartz countertops were flown in from Italy. It is sophisticated and classy, yet affordable.”
The VB lounge with its plush copper-colored chairs, blue accents, intimate seating and large bar all help to create a modern, inviting ambience. Cosic said that they plan on having live music and an upstairs private dining room for large parties in the very near future.
“We have something for everyone,” he said.
81 W. Boston St.