So. It all started when lovable "Italian stallion" former Top Chef contestant Fabio Viviani had a falling out with business partner and Café Firenze owner Mike Takeda (who also happens to be his father-in-law, ouch), over Viviani's original stomping ground. Viviani left the restaurant with another business partner, Jacopo Falleni, and teamed up with Barsac Brasserie owner Lisa Long to reopen her restaurant as Firenze Osteria. Naturally, Angelenos were curious about the restaurant and eager to test out Viviani's chops (both literally and figuratively), as was SIV who squashed the eatery with a full-on 0-star review. Rough. Today, YumSugar caught some face time with Viviani who reveals that he is still fighting with Takeda, plans to go back to Café Firenze and "If we can't, we will just have to buy a restaurant next door." On the subject of that LAT review, Viviani declares:
"I don't give a sh*t. I was looking forward to her [S. Irene Virbila's] review; she can be tough, but sometimes she's got her point. We tried to sit down and see her point, but there was not much to see. She's pointed her fingers at things that I do over and over for the past 20 years.. Would it make me happy to get three stars from her? Absolutely. But I don't buy wine from her husband, and I don't hang out with my ex-business partner as she does. I couldn't get a better review from her. My grandpa used to tell me, 'Never piss off somebody that buys ink by the barrel.' I've done nothing to her. She has time to do these kindergarten things, so be it. Everybody on my staff was in a bad mood for a week, and I told them: Guys, that is just a single person...The bad review at the LA Times was one of the greatest things to happen to me. I received over 2,500 emails from the community, saying how much they love the restaurant. Actually, we had a busier month, so I hope she comes back and she writes another bad review. My restaurant is busy every single day. Last year, when everyone was closing down and hurting, I did almost 60 percent more business, just in my restaurant. I made a business out of my passion."
And there you have it.