Ever since Fabio Viviani managed to become a fan favorite in Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’ contest, he’s become a busy restaurateur.
The celebrity chef has opened some 50 different restaurants, bars and event spaces since moving to California in 2005 from his native Florence, Italy.
Among the newest and closest is Chuck Lager America’s Tavern, in the Glen Town Center at 2601 Navy Blvd. The inauguration will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 20. The restaurant will be open for regular service from Tuesday.
“It’s an elevated tavern experience,” said the friendly Viviani, 44, who worked in a restaurant in Florence when he was 14.
“There are a lot of sports bars, a lot of American restaurants. It’s your elevated sports bar, your elevated tavern, with better food and more quality than your average sports bar,” he said.
Representing what is billed as a “decidedly American” menu with a “dash of international influence,” the opening menu features beef and pork ricotta meatballs, tuna poke nachos, a flatbread with truffled mushrooms, a “Mt. Kilimanjaro” double patty burger with bacon and beer cheese, a Mediterranean salad of grilled shrimp and Bomboloni, or Italian donuts.
“This place is going to be a bit of everything,” Viviani said. “That’s what America is.
Earth tones and an adventurous spirit are found in the furnishings and on the menu at Chuck Lager America’s Tavern.
– Courtesy of Barry Bresheisen
Bright and airy while still grounded in earth tones in its furnishings and flooring, Chuck Lager also features a solid, enveloping bar where people can order craft cocktails, bourbons, whiskeys, wines, and draft beers.
Viviani’s Fabio Viviani Hospitality Company is in partnership with the Colby Restaurant Group.
Glenview’s franchisee is David Falato of Nadel, a maker of corporate promotional items, but he also helped develop Sola Salon Studios and Jet’s Pizza in Chicago, California, Texas and Nevada.
The Glenview location of Chuck Lager America’s Tavern joins others in Orland Park, Florida and Delaware, part of a cluster that Viviani says will include 10 restaurants by the end of 2023.
The Italian chef’s first restaurant in Chicago, Siena Tavern, in partnership with DineAmic Hospitality, opened in 2013. There is Bar Siena at the Old Orchard Mall in Skokie.
His latest venture, aside from Chuck Lager, is Jars Sweets and Things, a dessert concept with a place at Chicago’s Fulton Market and more planned for Texas and California.
Celebrity chef Fabio Viviani has opened some 50 different restaurants, bars and event spaces. Among the newest and closest is Chuck Lager America’s Tavern, in the Glen Town Center at 2601 Navy Blvd.
In addition to her restaurants, Viviani has written three cookbooks and co-authored a fourth, won a 2012 Webby Award for the online cooking show “Chow Ciao”, and also has cooking segments on YouTube, ” Fabio’s Kitchen”, followed by more than 50,000 subscribers.
It’s clear from her humorous and unassuming delivery why the engaging Viviani was a fan favorite on season five of “Top Chef.” He returned in Bravo’s “Top Chef: All Stars.”
Viviani has a unique vision of opening a restaurant.
“It’s like getting punched in the face. No matter how many times you open a restaurant, you’re surprised, but in a good way. Although you expect him to come, there’s always an element of surprise. But you love it,” he said.
He feels Glenview is “underserved” in its dining options and is looking to rectify that from Monday.
“I am so grateful to be in the Glenview community and look forward to serving the crowd,” Viviani said.