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About Us

HEAD CHEF / OWNER

MICHAEL COLETTI

Chef Michael Colletti began his culinary journey at a young age growing up watching his grandparents and father, who migrated from Sicily, preparing the family recipes with home grown ingredients such as figs, cardoons and persimmons. This early influence and curiosity led him into the family business ‘ where it all started with dough ‘ when he studied bagel-making at his father’s side and then learned the ropes at his cousins’ pizzeria,┬áVilla Borghese. The discovery of his natural palate and affinity for cooking led him to attend the Culinary Education Center in Asbury Park, NJ. Degree in hand, he soon worked alongside iconic New York chefs Sirio Maccioni of the world renowned Le Cirque, as well as Drew Nieporent and Michael Bao at Mai House.

During Chef Colletti’s tenure as Chef de Cuisine at Mai House, the restaurant was awarded two stars by Frank Bruni of The New York Times, and named among the Top 10 Best Restaurants in New York City by The New York Times. He spent more than two years at Mai House; during that time Chef Colletti traveled throughout Vietnam for several months to study the local food and culture, and was chosen to guest chef at the 5-Star Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

After five years in New York, he decided to join friend and celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn in Washington D.C. at the Sunnyside Group. There he would play a vital role in the conceptualization of Chef Mendelsohn’s restaurant, Good Stuff Eatery, located in Capitol Hill. With the national success of Good Stuff Eatery, Chef Colletti was invited to participate in Food Network’s 2009 Food & Wine Festival ‘Rachel Ray Burger Bash’, in both Miami and New York, where he earned back-to-back victories for his creation of the ‘Colletti Smokehouse Burger’. Food Network then invited Chef Mendelsohn and Chef Colletti to compete in an episode of Iron Chef America, where they would ‘Battle Prosciutto’ versus world famous Chef Michael Symon in an episode that aired in March 2010.

Chef Colletti was then given responsibility for opening and overseeing operations at the second Spike Mendelsohn venture, We, The Pizza, also in Capitol Hill. We, the Pizza became an instant sensation, and within three months of opening was voted one of the ‘Top 50 Best Pizzerias in America’ by USA TODAY.

DINING ROOM GM / OWNER

GIUSEPPE ``BIG JOE`` RUSSO

Giuseppe (Joe) Russo is the General Manager of VB3. In this role he will be responsible for the day- to-day management of the restaurant and special events. Joe comes to VB3 as an experienced entrepreneur and restaurant owner. While attending college and earning his Bachelor’s degree at Rutgers the State University, he was being groomed for his career in the restaurant industry at his family’s restaurant and pizzeria, Villa Borghese. After college, Joe decided to continue to work alongside his father and uncle in the family business. With five years’ experience under his belt, Joe decided to venture out with his cousin, ‘Little Joe’ Russo, and open their own restaurant and pizzeria. In October of 2006, they opened Villa Borghese II, located in the heart of Helmetta, New Jersey, and within five years, the business has blossomed into a profitable venture. In 2012, he decided to join his cousins Mike Colletti, Giuseppe ‘Little Joe’ Russo , Gary and Ricky Leff to create VB3. Joe was born and raised in Elizabeth New Jersey. Both of his parents came from the same town in Sicily. He and his family now reside in Millstone, NJ.

PIZZERIA GM / OWNER

GIUSEPPE ``LITTLE JOE`` RUSSO

Giuseppe (Joe) Russo is the General Manager of VB3 Pizzeria. In this role he will be responsible for the day to day management and finances of the VB3 Pizzeria. Joe comes to VB3 as an entrepreneur and restaurant owner beginning his career at the young age of 15 working in the family restaurant/pizzeria business. Upon graduating Rutgers the State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and a brief stint at Merrill Lynch, Joe decided to bring his new financial and management skills back to the family business. For six years he managed Villa Borghese in Fords, New Jersey and then he and his cousin, ‘Big Joe’ Russo, decided to venture out on their own in 2006 and open Villa Borghese II located Helmetta, New Jersey, creating a profitable venture. In 2012 he decided to join his cousins Mike Colletti, Giuseppe ‘Big Joe’ Russo, Gary and Ricky Leff to create VB3. Joe was born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He currently resides in Millstone, NJ.

PARTNER

GARY LEFF

Gary Leff is the Founder and President of G. Leff Security Systems. Gary became an entrepreneur at the age of 18 when he started G. Leff Security after briefly working for a security company in high school. G. Leff Security Systems is a full-service security company that provides a wide range of alarm systems, fire alarm systems, card access, audio/visual and central monitoring services to residential, industrial and commercial clients from Virginia to Boston since 1980. In 2005, Gary expanded his business by establishing divisions that service luxury multi-residential apartments and high-rise luxury apartments. G. Leff Security Systems is located in Cliffwood, New Jersey and has 22 employees.

With his enterprising spirit still going strong, Gary has entered a new and different business venture with his close friends/partners, opening VB3 Restaurant and Bar & VB3 Pizzeria in Jersey City, New Jersey. Gary took a lead role in the concept, design and construction of the business while his restaurateur partners are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the business. Opening a restaurant has been a long-time dream of Gary’s that has now come to fruition. Gary currently resides in Long Branch, New Jersey.

PARTNER

RICKY LEFF

Ricky Leff is currently Vice President of G. Leff Security Systems where he is responsible for supervising field staff and overseeing the service department in all aspects. G. Leff Security Systems, founded by his brother Gary, is a full service security company which provides a wide range of alarm systems and fire alarm systems, card access, video surveillance and central monitoring, serving residential and commercial clients from Boston to Virginia for more than 30 years. In addition to G. Leff Security Systems, Ricky is a partner in VB3 Restaurant & Bar and VB3 Pizzeria, a joint venture with his close friends/partners. Ricky began his career at United Parcel Service (UPS) in 1977, and spent 18 years delivering packages to commercial and retail outlets, until he left in 1995, to join G. Leff Security Systems. Ricky resides in Toms River, NJ with his wife and two children.

A wonderful group of enthusiasts, with an urban soul, completes the restaurant pizzeria and microfamily team. Here are some of them!

find us

475 Washington Blvd,
Jersey City, NJ 07310