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Gabriel's in Highwood to Shutter July 21 After 19 Years

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After nearly 20 years serving the North Shore, Gabriel Viti will close his namesake restaurant, Gabriel's, and focus his attention on his French bistro, Miramar. The restaurant, where young chefs like John des Rosiers and Giuseppe Tentori honed their skills, will shutter following service on July 21, a few weeks shy of Viti's 49th birthday.

Viti told his staff on Wednesday his plan and offered to move everyone over to Miramar. He also said he'd help those who didn't want to make the switch find a job before he popped the cork on a magnum of Dom Perignon to celebrate the restaurant with his team.

In the last five or so years, Viti has become more of an outdoorsman, running triathlons, doing a marathon at the Great Wall of China and scaling the world's seven summits, the highest peaks on each continent.

The decision to close Gabriel's came after Viti met with his guide who took him up Mt. Everest and will take him up K2 in Pakistan next year; he'll also train to swim the English Channel in 2014. But with all this training and climbing, Viti said he wasn't able to give his clientele what they needed when his attention was split.

"After spending all this time in the tents thinking about what makes me happy ... that's taking care of my customers. I can only do that with one restaurant," Viti said. "I just need to be able to focus on Gabriel Viti and Miramar. I can only handle one restaurant."

Viti owns the building where Gabriel's is and will likely rent it out to another restaurateur. In addition, he's going to sell his bar, Gabe's Back Stage Lounge, and already has interest from a potential buyer. But loyal Gabriel's customers needn't worry that it's going away entirely. Viti said a number of Gabriel's favorite dishes, like the seared ahi with daikon radish and fennel salad; crespelle filled with spinach and taleggio cheese in parmesan sauce; rigatoni with Italian sausage sugo; osso buco with saffron risotto; Chilean sea bass en papillotte will all likely make it onto the menu at Miramar.
· Miramar Bistro Owner Gabriel Viti Conquers the World's "Seven Summits" [~EChi~]

Gabriel's

310 Green Bay Road, Highwood, IL

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