Stars Align at Luna Vine Wine Bar
Have you ever visited an eatery and just thought, "I wish this place was around the corner from my house?" Well I just found one of those, and it's a bummer I have to drive there. But it's worth it to get that neighborhood ambiance—and fabulous food and drink, of course. My destination of choice? […]
- CategoryEat & Drink
- Written byKaren Young
Have you ever visited an eatery and just thought, "I wish this place was around the corner from my house?" Well I just found one of those, and it's a bummer I have to drive there. But it's worth it to get that neighborhood ambiance—and fabulous food and drink, of course.
My destination of choice? Luna Vine Wine Bar, which opened about a month ago in the burgeoning Magnolia Park area of Burbank.
Co-owners Shannon VerGow and Nick Caballero met fortuitously at a neighborhood coffeehouse when Nick overheard Shannon chatting about her dream of opening a wine bar. Shannon had recently left a 20-year career in media creative services and post production in San Francisco and Los Angeles to pursue a wine certification degree at UCLA. Nick joined the conversation as he had a similar interest, having grown up in his family’s restaurant business that took him from Chicago to Las Vegas and finally to Los Angeles, where he worked as the wine director at various restaurants including Chaya Brasserie.
Kismet, synchronicity, fate—whatever you call it — the seeds of a wine bar were planted. They were able to secure the location, a narrow, 900-square-foot former art space that Shannon had coveted for years.
Nick took the design reigns and orchestrated what has resulted in a cozy, industrial, minimalist space complete with a 13-seat bar and a combination of low and high tables for a total seating of 45. The bar, table tops, chairs and lighting are all constructed with reclaimed and repurposed materials. The wall art will change every four to six weeks featuring a new artist.
Together with Executive Chef Wesley Pumphrey (whose culinary background includes cooking at Craft in Century City, the Montage in Beverly Hills and with Jose Andres at The Bazaar in Los Angeles), Shannan and Nick are focusing on pairing small production and boutique wines with small plate American cuisine splashed with a Mediterranean influence.
Chef Pumphrey's trademark is conjuring an unexpected twist on his dishes. The menu will change according to seasonal offerings. The current repertoire includes: imaginative charcuterie and cheese boards ($17–$30); select salads with such ingredients as prosciutto, peppadew, goat cheese, roasted pear and duck confit creatively combined ($8–$12); uniquely prepared larger items to share such as bone marrow with uni tomato jam and duck cracklin’, Waygu sirloin cap, duck rillettes, Kumamoto oysters, and mussels escabeche—out of the shell ($8–$15).
Desserts include an Oreo cheesecake (made with black pepper and rosemary/strawberry bourbon cream) and the 50/50: panna cotta with blood orange gelatin, and a ‘stachio biscotti with spiced chocolate, raspberry, vanilla cream and crystalized basil.
Luna Vine Wine Bar currently offers 40 wines from around the world by the glass ($9–15), as well as eight beers on tap. Also available are wine flights with four 2-ounce pours of pre-selected varietals for $12 that will range in theme (all reds, all whites, different regions, comparisons of same varietals, etc.). Instead of happy hour, Luna Vine features “studio hours” from 4 to 6 p.m. daily with half-off specials on selected wines and beers.
Luna Vine Wine Bar is that friendly kind of place where if you go often enough, they’re sure to know your name.
Luna Vine Wine Bar, 3206 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, 818-561-4305.
Co-wwners Nick Caballero and Shannon VerGow (left); and Executive Chef Wes Pumphrey.
Charcuterie and Cheese Board
The industrial, yet cozy interior, is designed with reclaimed and repurposed materials, seats approximately 45, and has a changing art display every six weeks.