Mirabelle Wine Bar Transforms into One of the Valley’s Premier Dining Destinations

Way more than wine.

Down to earth, delicious, cozy—those words come to mind when I think about Mirabelle Wine Bar. It starts with the vibe. You enter through the bar area—a narrow, dimly lit, swanky space with a long, marble-topped bar lining one wall and a few tables along the other. Pop through the back door and a culinary speakeasy emerges. Visitors are greeted by the enticing scent of white oak wood smoke from a grill in an outdoor kitchen. That’s when you realize that Mirabelle is not just a wine bar.

Above Striped bass with olives atop homemade tzatziki, a vignette of the spacious, swanky bar at Mirabelle, and grilled baby broccoli with pickled red peppers, sesame and garlic oil.


Mirabelle co-owner David Gibbs also owns two other Valley establishments: Augustine Wine Bar (closed due to fire; scheduled to reopen later this year) and Sushi Note. Joining forces with Nick Caballero, who rides a Gold Wing motorcycle and has a warm smile, the two have formed what appears to be a perfect partnership.

The story begins in 2017 when Nick, then working at Augustine as general manager, found out that a space along Burbank Boulevard in Valley Village (formerly the nondescript Bar One Tap Room) was available. He asked Dave to become his partner. “He’d been GM at Augustine, so I knew what he could do.”

With Augustine as a “big brother,” the duo aimed to fill a different niche. “The idea was to make a lighter, more punk rock version of Augustine,” says Nick. “Augustine showcases high-end and vintage wines. Mirabelle would offer lesser-known wines. Small producers that are off the beaten path. Funky orange wines, dirty soil-driven terroir reds, with a few classic and familiar varietals.”

Nick may not be a sommelier or a trained chef, but food is in his blood. Growing up in Chicago, he learned to fold dough in his father’s pizza restaurants before he could ride a bike.

Shortly after Mirabelle’s opening, Nick converted a few parking spaces in the back to create a makeshift outdoor dining room, which created pop-up space for guest chefs. At that point, the menu was limited to a few small plates.

After COVID hit, forcing the closure of Mirabelle, Nick headed to a cabin by a lake in south Chicago, preparing most meals over a wood fire pit. “Procuring amazing produce and proteins from local farmers and butchers, I prepared several of my favorite dishes from the multitude of restaurants I’ve frequented over the years. After one of those amazing lakeside meals, we roasted s’mores by the fire. It was then that I dared myself to do this type of cooking in the parking lot of Mirabelle,” recalls Nick.

David Gibbs and Nick Caballero

Upon his return to the Valley, the outdoor space was dramatically expanded to include its own open-air grill and kitchen as well as more tables for dining. Wooden walls, plants, heaters, and beautifully set tables all make it feel like an actual dining room that happens to be outside.

David and Nick believe in simplicity. I get it. As a chef and former restaurateur, I know the danger of trying to do too much. It takes a lot more skill to “master protein temperatures,” says David, than to come up with wild flavor combinations. “We keep the food simple so that a wine match is much easier.”

David knows his grapes, and that’s reflected by Mirabelle’s wine list—a thoughtful selection of mostly Californian and European varietals. During my visit, he poured three exceptional wines for us: a Village White Burgundy; a 1987 Antares Bordeaux-style blend from Sonoma; and a 1996 Napa Cabernet by Sherwin Family Vineyards. All from his private collection.

When it comes to food, the duo believes in premium ingredients. Nick goes to multiple farmers markets weekly to get produce. “We keep it simple and play with the seasons,’’ he says. A highlight of our dinner was a debate between Nick and David over which peaches were better: the donut-shaped peach from Michigan or the classic Georgia peach. Nick’s comparison of the flavor of the Michigan peach to grapes from the Mosel wine region of Germany was a testament to his passion for the culinary experience.

The menu at Mirabelle remains small, which to me is almost always a sign of excellence. Just five appetizers, one salad, two veggie sides, four entrees and two desserts.

My meal started with the Kennebec fries served with ketchup and truffle aioli. The paper-thin skins of the Kennebecs yield a crisp fry, and the texture—less granular than most potatoes—produces a creamy center. The second dish: Little Gem lettuces with fried capers, garlic breadcrumbs, Parmesan and a dill-chive ranch dressing. It was a perfect marriage of a Caesar with the throwback love of a good ol’ ranch dressing. The fried capers lent a rich tang that offset the creaminess.

Next up: grilled baby broccoli with pickled red peppers, sesame-garlic oil and crispy shallots, which added a rich crunch and just enough heat. Butternut squash hit the table next—perfectly roasted to soften the skin without overcooking the flesh. The squash was placed on a bed of whipped goat cheese and topped with a chile crisp and toasted cashews.

I could have gone home happy at that point, but we weren’t finished. Veggie lasagna with Bloomsdale spinach, ricotta, and Parmesan appeared. What blew me away: a cloak of thin béchamel over the top, and just beneath, an insane, mouth-puckering parmesan crisp.

The finale was a prime 8-ounce Manhattan steak (also known as a New York filet) with Bordelaise sauce. Dry-aged Flannery beef is another example of the owners’ passion for premium ingredients. The Flannery beef appears again, but not on the menu. In the bar, from 5–7 p.m. daily, you can order a “secret” $10 burger with butter pickles and Gruyere cheese on a brioche bun. If that—coupled with a glass of killer cab—doesn’t get you traveling a few miles north of the Boulevard, I don’t know what will.

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