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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Fabio Viviani Is Opening 6 New Restaurants

From a Chicago steakhouse to a food truck-inspired joint, all about his new eateries.

By Hilary Hughes

It's been a minute since Fabio Viviani tried his luck on Top Chef, but the Italian culinary impresario has kept busy writing cookbooks and opening new restaurants left and right.

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Watch the Top Chef Season 21 premiere on Wednesday, March 20 at 9/8c on Bravo and next day on Peacock.

He'll be even busier in the months ahead. Fabio—who's already the chef behind Italian-inspired restaurants in Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami—is set to open six new eateries across the country in the next nine months, he tells the Dish. The first two of those new locations, Mercato by Fabio and Prime & Provisions, will open their doors in Chicago by the end of June.

"We love steaks," Fabio tells The Dish. "We love meats. That's why one of the next six restaurants opening … it's going to be one of the hottest steakhouses Chicago has ever seen. That's a bold statement, because Chicago is a steak city!"

We have a feeling Fabio will do just fine at feeding the Windy City some of the best filettos and carpaccio it's ever had. He's also branching out into new territories: he'll be opening Sienna Tavern South Beach in Miami in the fall, and an exciting new restaurant/venue space in Los Angeles has Fabio going into business with a celebrity.

"I am teaming up with one of the biggest American music producers and music industry moguls," he says of the new L.A. spot. He can't reveal the name of his partner just yet, but he's quite excited about the crazy nights ahead at his new place. "We are opening a venue which will be a hybrid between a very cool hipster restaurant and a music venue in LA … we're opening in September."

Joining Mercato and Prime & Provisions in Chicago in early 2015 will be Bar Siena, which Fabio calls "a hybrid between Bar Siena… a more casual, less refined version of my upscale eateries." Basically, Bar Siena is the hybrid of a food truck and Chicago's Siena Tavern. The high/low balance between luxurious, pricier meals and affordable eating experiences is an important one for Fabio to strike, and he wants to make sure that every experience at a Fabio-owned joint is one to savor.

"Would you like to cater to 3% of America that earns above $100k salary, or would you like to cater to 97% of America who doesn't earn that in a year?" says Fabio. "You've got your answer there. I'm a people person. I wouldn't be a people person if I was only able to feed 3% of the nation. The 97% people who are eating with us, they're going to get a million dollar experience: the space is gorgeous, the food is great, the drinks are fantastic and you feel like a million dollars but you don't have to pay for it."

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