The talented team behind Bardo, an intimate restaurant with a boundary-pushing cuisine and cocktail program, will debut its sophomore concept called VANA on Thursday, August 13 in South End.
VANA, the Sanskrit word for forest, is more laid-back than Bardo with glass-paned garage doors that open for an indoor/outdoor feel, a few TVs, and fun details like rosé gummy bear garnish in a cocktail.
Whereas Bardo was a chance to introduce Charlotte to chef Michael Noll’s culinary skills, VANA is an opportunity to have a little more fun, partner Jayson Whiteside says.
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The 72-seat restaurant is intimate like Bardo, with an open kitchen as the centerpiece. Much of the furniture in the restaurant is made of reclaimed wood and the decorative windows on the walls were salvaged from homes that Whiteside’s wife Jacqueline flipped.
Most of the restaurant was done by hand. It’s not as glamorous as people might think, Whiteside says. “Mike and I do what we can, and hire out what we can afford.”
Whiteside went to Appalachian State University, so you’ll see rustic nods to the mountains throughout the restaurant. Black Dove Interiors is behind the design.
Safety measures: Just like the safety measures at Bardo, VANA’s staff will have their temperatures checked every day and will all wear masks. Once open, VANA will operate at 50 percent capacity.
Food: VANA’s menu is rustic with a mix of tapas-style dishes and larger sharable plates like a 36-ounce tomahawk ribeye and a whole fish, which rotates seasonally. Many dishes are cooked on the fire hearth and in the pizza oven (!). The price point is a little lower than at Bardo, with dishes ranging from $7-$78.
VANA will also have brunch, lunch, and dinner menus, but is just opening with weekend brunch and dinner to start. After a few weeks, VANA will add lunch.
Drinks: Behind the bar, Bardo mixologist Amanda Britton plays off the kitchen’s wood-burning theme with a focus on barrel-aged whiskey and agave spirits. For summer, expect Britton’s cocktail menu to be refreshing. There’s also a “shot ski,” a ski you and a friend can take a shot off of. There will also be beer and wine available.
Location: VANA is located at 1440 S. Tryon St., Ste. 100. Find it on the corner of Summit and Tryon Streets.
Let’s take a look inside: