La Dolce Viti
In Highland Park, a poolside Bastille Day party worthy of a king, courtesy of chef Gabriel Viti
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The chef (at left) presides over a seven-course classic French summertime feast, complete with wine pairings. Photo Gallery »
Gabriel Viti isn’t one to do things halfway. The native Highland Parker owns two restaurants—Gabriel’s (French-Italian) and Miramar (Cuban-French)—along with a music club, Gabe’s Backstage Lounge, on the North Shore. In his spare time, he trains for Ironman triathlons. When we last saw Viti, at a Bastille Day pool party he threw for a dozen or so of his closest friends last year, he mentioned he was gearing up to climb Mt. Everest—the first of the seven summits that he hopes to scale.
That the man makes no small plans was obvious even before we learned about the Everest goal. His guests that evening were treated to a seven-course classic French meal paired with exquisite wines that Viti had brought out of his cellar just for this party. He served them in glassware from Riedel’s Sommeliers collection—“they go to the area in the world where a particular wine is created and come up with a shape of glass that best complements it,” he says.
A long table overlooking Viti’s backyard pool and immaculate garden was covered in a lovely light-green toile tablecloth, with small arrangements of white flowers here and there. The tanned chef/host animatedly refilled glasses while explaining his menu and sharing stories of his years in France, where he lived, along with Italy and Switzerland, for a total of six years and cooked under some of the world’s most famous chefs. “The French live at such a high level—they really enjoy life,” says Viti, who clearly does the same.
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Photograph: Chris Guillen