VB3 Restaurant Review

Last week I had the opportunity to meet Chef Michael Colletti and try the new menu at his restaurant VB3. Chef Colletti has cooked for President Obama, been a competitor on Iron Chef America, and competed in Food Network Food & Wine Festival challenges. He’s opened several restaurants in New York City which eventually helped pave the way to the opening of VB3, his Jersey City restaurant. I sat down with the young and innovative chef to get his thoughts on food, Jersey City and learn about his favorites.

VB3Where did you grow up?

Elizabeth, NJ – Jersey born and raised.

Favorite meal as a child?

My Nonna’s (grandmother’s) food will always be my favorite.

What is your favorite food memory?

Family style meals with my family, course after course of my Nonna’s cooking.

What motivated you to open a restaurant and why in Jersey City?

Jersey City has a great food scene and when the opportunity presented itself my cousins and I decided to invest together.

How do you get your inspiration for your menu? 

I love using ingredients that are in season, I try to change the menu accordingly. It’s my modern version of traditional Italian and Asian food.

Favorite item on the menu?

The Rigatoni with lamb Bolognese and the short ribs.

Favorite kitchen equipment or gadget?

I have some lucky spoons I’ve had since I first started cooking. Everyone knows they are my spoons.

Best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast?

Cooking for a living isn’t easy. You have to love food, be ready for long hours and self driven.

What do you like to eat when youre at home?

Home cooked meals, one pot dishes – I don’t cook much when I’m home. I would rather have someone cook for me.

Favorite local restaurants?

The Kitchen on Grove, Powerhouse, Razza and Porta all have great food.

What do you most love about your job?

Each day is a new day. I get to meet new people every day, I love that about this industry.

Whats your Last Suppermeal?

French fries, watermelon and a full course meal made by my Nonna.

Chef CollettiEven after all he’s achieved Chef Colletti was humble, down to earth with the heart of a kid. I had the pleasure of dining at his restaurant and tasting some of his top menu items.

The first plate Chef Colletti prepared for me was the Grilled Octopus with Smoked Fingerling Potatoes, Celery and Lemon. 

vb3 vb3So this was my first time trying octopus and I was so nervous. I was pleasantly surprised, it was such a light and fresh salad with a citrus punch at the end of every bite. It’s a perfect spring/summer item and is laced with chili oil for those who enjoy spice.

The next plate was the Rigatoni with Lamb Bolognese accented with Mint and Pecorino Cheese.

vb3vb3O M G! I can not say enough about this dish. It was THE complete meal. The lamb was flavorful with hints if fennel and the mint gave it a perfect freshness. It’s one of those dishes that I would order again and again as it has that homemade touch.

To accompany these wonderful dishes I ordered the Blackberry Smash which is a mix of death’s door white whisky, fleur elderflower liqueur, cherry herring, fresh lemon juice & blackberry preserves. It was as flavorful as it sounds and strong!

vb3If you’re looking for a mix of bar favorites, seasonal ingredients and a modern take on traditional Italian fare, VB3 hits the spot. I will most certainly be back (I’m already craving the Rigatoni with lamb!)

This post was sponsored by VB3 and I was invited to try their new menu. All opinions are my own.

3 thoughts on “VB3 Restaurant Review

  1. Awesome Nisha! Wonderfully captured. I loved the line where he says cooking for living is not easy. You have to love food and be prepared for long hrs and self driven. So so true…

    1. Thanks Jasmina! I know right, he was such a nice, honest and down to earth chef. I could see his passion for food as he described his journey.

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