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Fabio Viviani of "Top Chef" Opens Bar Cicchetti

We talked with the chef about his new restaurant, his favorite menu items and what he would order at Bar Cicchetti.

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Fabio Viviani is no stranger to the restaurant and nightlife industry—he began running his own empire before the age of 30. In addition to owning and operating multiple venues, Viviani has not only appeared on numerous national segments and competed in two seasons of “Top Chef” on Bravo, but he also runs his own cooking show, “Fabio’s Kitchen” where fans have watched him cook for several seasons.

The brand new restaurant, Bar Cicchetti, is Fabio Viviani's debut location in NYC, and we caught up with the “Top Chef” Fan Favorite to chat about the new restaurant and what he would order if he were visiting for the first time. 

Chef Fabio Viviani at Bar Cicchetti New York City | WhereTraveler
Chef Fabio Viviani at Bar Cicchetti (Courtesy Fabio Viviani Hospitality)

Fabio Viviani Opens Bar Cicchetti in New York City

WT: How is your New York restaurant different from your other locations? 
Viviani: There is an undeniable energy in New York City. Chelsea is so vibrant and eclectic. It truly inspired me to emulate that spirit with our dishes and specialty cocktails.

WT: What do you love best about Bar Cicchetti?
Viviani: The term “cicchetti” means sharable in Italian, which really promotes togetherness and family. I love the tradition of breaking bread with others. There is a wonderful ritual found in this style of dining, and I feel it shows in our guest experience.

WT: Have you brought over any menu items from your other restaurants?
Viviani: If we didn’t offer my signature meatballs (Polpetti Di Fabio), there would be a riot. ; -) But seriously, I did bring some of my fan favorites from around the nation. Chicken Livers from Memphis, Cioppino from St. Pete, Orecchiette from Chicago. Just as Chelsea brings the best people from all areas together, I strive to do the best with my menus. 

Polpetti Di Fabio (Fabio's Meatballs) New York City | WhereTraveler
Polpetti Di Fabio (Fabio's Meatballs) (Courtesy Fabio Viviani Hospitality)

WT: What is your favorite item on the menu?
Viviani: I am partial to the grilled octopus on a bed of celery salad and roasted potatoes, topped with an n’duja vinaigrette. So soft and delicious, you could legit eat it with a spoon.

WT: What is your idea of a perfect order from the menu at Bar Cicchetti?
Viviani: I would start off with our fried burrata. Simple, traditional and a great sharable dish. Next, I would have the crispy duck salad. The pomegranate and soft boiled egg blend perfectly with the warm duck vinaigrette. For my entree, I love the chicken thigh marsala made with my grandmother’s cream sauce recipe. No watery marsala in the Viviani household, that’s for sure. I would top it off with our espresso amaro tiramisu, with a caramelized chocolate crunch. Then I would return the following night for something incredibly different. 

Charred Octopus at Bar Cicchetti New York City | WhereTraveler
Charred Octopus, Marble Potatoes, Celery Salad, N’duja Vinaigrette (Courtesy Fabio Viviani Hospitality)