Top Chef's Fabio Viviani Talks Pizza and Plans for Siena Tavern Miami
This fall, chef Fabio Viviani is bringing his famed Chicago-based Siena Tavern to South Beach. Viviani and his team plan to adapt the menu from the Chicago location, which earned the title of "Best New Restaurant" by Chicago magazine, for Miami by focusing on lighter items such as bites from the crudo bar, fresh salads, and thin-crust pizzas. "The reality is, a few months ago it was -15 degrees in Chicago. Not everything that works there will work here in Miami," Viviani, who was a fan-favorite on Top Chef: Season 5, told Short Order. "We plan to bring about 50 percent of the dishes from Chicago and develop the rest of the menu just for Miami. It will be the same feeling but a little lighter to account for the heat."
Courtesy of Fabio Viviani
Heat and humidity are high on the team's radar, and for good reason. Viviani and his crew have been monitoring the temperature and humidity here in Miami for the last six months to develop their own proprietary blend of flour that they will use for the Miami location's thin-crust pizza.
"It will be different from the flour we use in Chicago. It has a higher protein to gluten ratio so it won't absorb the humidity and get soggy on your plate," Viviani said. Pizzas at Siena Tavern will be fired up in a penny tile encrusted wood-fired pizza oven that features a rock bottom with temperatures up to 800 degrees. Expect to see pizzas like Viviani's truffle mushroom, which is topped with oyster, shitaki, maitake, mozzarella, and shaved winter truffle; The Burrata, topped with marinated eggplant, zucchini, and of course, a pizza margherita on the menu.