Earlier this year, Bread and Butter Concepts closed Urban Table in the Corinth Square shopping center, but “all is right,” as local restaurateur Whitney VinZant plans to open a new neighborhood Italian eatery, Va Bene, there by the end of this month.
VinZant also owns his own concept, Louie’s Wine Dive, along with two former Bread and Butter concepts, Taco Republic and BRGR, which has a location just 300 feet from Va Bene. “This is a completely original concept – the first one for our restaurant group in over five years – so we are really excited about it,” VinZant said in a release.
Va Bene translates to “all is right” in Italian. Opening during the pandemic, Va Bene plans to offer some socially distanced dine-in seating and seasonal patio seating and will also offer carryout meals and delivery. The restaurant will serve lunch, dinner, happy hour and weekend brunch.
Chef Nathan Deters, formerly executive chef for North Italia, will head up the kitchen at Va Bene, with pastry chef Samantha Butler, formerly of Webster House, making desserts fresh in-house daily.
Deters says the lunch menu at Va Bene has been built around soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas, which can be order in a variety of combinations depending on a guest’s mood, hunger and budget. “At dinner, we will offer guests more choices starting with our lobster crêpes and Nana’s housemade meatballs along with lobster bisque and a few salads like the roasted heirloom beet salad with toasted pistachios,” he says.
Handmade pasta dishes like pappardelle pasta served with slow braised beef and red wine sauce with caramelized tomatoes and a hearty family-friendly lasagna will also grace the menu. As for entrée, look for juicy wood-fired chicken, seared scallops with roasted broccolini, marinated rib eye steak with salt-roasted potatoes and a pork tenderloin saltimbocca.
In addition to baking all of the bread used in the restaurant, Butler will create some unique desserts, including several housemade gelato flavors in addition to Italian citrus and olive oil cake. Diners can also order a special tableside affogato, an Italian dessert where a scoop of vanilla gelato is “drowned” in a shot of hot espresso and perhaps a shot of liqueur.
The bar will serve a variety of beer and wine, along with housemade limoncello and delicious Italian-inspired cocktails on tap, including Negronis.
Va Bene general manager Kristi Burns also previously worked at Webster House, and worked at BRGR in Corinth Square for several years when it first opened. She knows firsthand about the supportive community that surrounds this new restaurant. “Our intention is to become a part of this amazing community by giving back to local schools and charities and by providing our guests the perfect neighborhood spot to enjoy a relaxing date night out, and family-friendly dinners to enjoy at home,” she says.
The layout of the new restaurant is similar to Urban Table, with the bar still in the same spot and an open kitchen where guests can see the chefs cooking. “Va Bene will have a bright, clean and fresh interior with an expanded patio. We want it to be a place for families and friends to dine and enjoy well-made, flavorful Italian food and drinks together,” VinZant said.
The team is hard at work to finish the restaurant, with staff training set to begin in mid-November. The goal is to be open by the end of the month to take advantage of the winter holidays.
Va Bene, 8232 Mission Road, Prairie Village, Kansas, facebook.com/Vabenekc