Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani Opens a Carmel Restaurant

Chef Fabio sitting down in a chef's coat
Celebrity chef Fabio Viviani

Photo courtesy Osteria by Fabio Viviani

chicken marsalla on a plate
The chicken marsala from Osteria by Fabio Viviani.

FABIO VIVIANI MAY not have captured the Top Chef title during his season 5 appearance on Bravo’s competitive cooking series, but his Italian charm certainly won plenty of hearts. Now, he’s setting his sights on Carmel.

Joining a family of several dozen restaurants across the U.S., Osteria by Fabio Viviani is up and running in the Carmel Market District for lunch carryout service and DoorDash delivery Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a full grand opening to follow later this year or early next. “This will be the fourth Osteria concept,” says Market District’s general manager Joe Sark. “We have others at LAX, in Oklahoma City, and in the Chicago area, all with very different menus, but the vibe is still the same—a simple, rustic neighborhood restaurant that’s all about community.”

Viviani sees parallels between the Indy metro market and his operations to the north. “The Indianapolis culinary scene gives off a similar feel to Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, where we have opened a number of restaurants,” he says. “I love everything about the Midwest demographic, with a lot of families and nice areas with good spending and eating habits.” 

Curated by Viviani with Carmel executive chef Josh Arnold, the Osteria menu showcases contemporary interpretations of traditional Italian cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients—think classic Margherita pizzas, truffle gnocchi, fresh salads, housemade pastas, and Fabio’s signature black Angus meatballs. “Indiana has a lot of great local providers, which gives us the opportunity to create dishes with anything we find within 100 miles of our restaurant—ingredients that we can’t always get in Miami or New York,” Viviani says. “We will keep roughly 50 percent of our cuisine similar to other restaurants and implement a lot of local flavors and cuisines from the area.”

As part of the full bar service, Sark (who is a Level 2–certified sommelier) hopes to incorporate lots of Italian wines and at least 10 beers on draft, including a couple genuine Italian offerings. “Having worked in the wine and liquor section of Market District for two years, I was able to bring in all kinds of interesting stuff,” he says. “It’s been especially fun to work with Fabio’s people to create a great wine list.”

The Osteria decor updates the former Table atmosphere with lighter wood plank floors and walls, coppery ceiling tiles, and a warm, vibrant color palette of reds and blues. Sark says Viviani plans to visit on a regular basis, and may even teach some private cooking classes in the Carmel Market District demo kitchen at some point down the road. “I hope [Osteria] is going to bring another good opportunity for people to gather together for a cocktail, eat a delicious meal from scratch, and provide a great ambience,” Viviani says. “Italians are known for hospitality, and we take hospitality very seriously. We hope we will fit in with the community and bring another dining option to residents.” 11505 N. Illinois St., Carmel, 317-689-6330