The only thing is, Fabio wasn’t there. We did learn that he makes an appearance once a month and guests are known to call and book a table on the date he is scheduled to be at the Osteria. And that’s no surprise. Voted the “Fan Favorite” on Bravo’s Top Chef Season 5, Fabio Viviani certainly left a positive impression on many viewers, including me and Matt. We’ve wanted to visit his restaurant since learning of its opening October 2009. My In-Laws live in Encino, and when they mentioned wanting Italian during a recent conversation, I seized the opportunity to make reservations at Firenze.
I will say there was some confusion as to exactly where it was located because on some sites the address is listed as Toluca Lake and on others it shows up as North Hollywood. Apparently using Toluca Lake as your address brings a classier neighborhood to mind? Then I found a Café Firenze out in Moorpark, which was further than we wanted to travel, and upon some online detective work I surmised that Fabio wasn’t involved in that restaurant anymore. So to summarize, it was a nice meal but not a meal that wowed us. My father in law said the best part of his meal was the grilled vegetables. Really? I enjoyed the bread, the soup, and my entrée which was a Short Rib Ravioli. The night’s specials were shared with us from a tablet, so that was a first for me. I kind of wish I had saved our money to take one of Fabio’s monthly cooking classes!