Bar Cicchetti and ChillJoy Make Our Hot + Noteworthy List

Top Chef alum Fabio Viviani brings a welcome new venue to the Westin Great Southern Columbus, plus a crave-worthy Hawaiian shave ice truck to try

Erin Edwards
Columbus Monthly
Bar Cicchetti in the Westin Great Southern Columbus

When I lived Downtown in recent years, one of the biggest dining disappointments was the lack of a good hotel restaurant and bar inside the Westin Great Southern Columbus. The Westin’s Thurber Bar, named for Columbus’ own humorist James Thurber, was neither amusing nor notable. This year, the Westin’s bar and restaurant got an overdue refresh, this time with a different name attached. (Apologies to Thurber.) Its new identity is Bar Cicchetti (at 310 S. High St.) by celebrity chef Fabio Viviani, whose name longtime Top Chef fans will recognize. An early report? The bar was lively, the Pistachio Smack cocktail equally so (despite the hotel pricing at $16), and the rosemary-olive focaccia came out piping hot, crispy and appropriately rich with olive oil. The housemade strozzapreti verde with sausage, fennel, rapini and egg yolk is a keeper, as well. Welcome to the neighborhood, Fabio.

Before the chill of (gulp) winter arrives, be sure to hunt down the ChillJoy truck, owned by Army veteran Stephani McIntyre. ChillJoy serves real-deal Hawaiian-style shave ice—easily one of the best treats to hit the Columbus food scene this year. I recommend the Pure Aloha, a fluffy sundae with mango and strawberry shave ice, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla ice cream and chewy mochi. [Note: ChillJoy has closed for the 2022 season.]

This story is from the September 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.