Question of the Week with Steve Martorano

He’s cooked traditional Italian dishes at his Fort Lauderdale restaurant for Tony Bennett, Dan Marino, Jimmy Kimmel and the cast of The Sopranos. Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian featured his baseball-sized meatballs with salad appetizer on the Cooking Channel’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate. And his made-to-order pasta is some of the best you’ve ever tasted.

But it takes more than supreme cuisine to remain a fine-dining fixture for 30 years in Broward County. We asked Steve Martorano what else, along with his menu of Italian classics and larger-than-life personality, has distinguished his three-decade run at Café Martorano (3343 E. Oakland Park Blvd.).

“We’ve reinvented ourselves every year for the past 30 years. [Typically], we will close in September for a month. Most people go on vacation. Well, I don’t go on vacation. What I do is I repaint the place, I change the uniforms, I change the menu, I change the glassware—I change every year. We spend like $70,000 a year just on those upgrades.

“You gotta realize, cuz, if you were coming to me 30 years ago, and you were 30, you’re 60 now. You’re not dancing on the bar anymore. So, I had to make sure that my clientele was always changing. Right now, much of our clientele is in their 30s and 40s. We still get the people that are in their 60s and 70s, but if I had to depend just on that, I’d be out of business. It’s good that the younger people understand the hipness, the excitement of what we’re doing.

“We’re an experience. It’s not just dinner.”

You May Also Like

Dolphin Mall in Miami to Open Entertainment Venue Featuring Dining and Hospitality Options

Taubman Realty Group and Live! Hospitality & Entertainment partnered to create Vivo! Dolphin Mall, which will feature 62,000 square feet of dining and entertainment space with an expansive 30,000-square-foot al fresco plaza set to debut this summer. Vivo! will provide a destination for premium entertainment, food, drinks and first-class hospitality in Miami.  “It’s been incredible

Las Olas Wine & Food Festival Returns for 27th Anniversary

The Las Olas Wine and Food Festival (LOWFF) will celebrate its 27th anniversary on Friday, April 21. As one of Fort Lauderdale’s most extensive wine and food festivals, the event will transform Las Olas Boulevard and offer guests the opportunity to sip, sample and enjoy dishes from 40 of South Florida’s finest restaurants and more

Vinya Wine to Celebrate National No Phone Day With Miami’s Top Restaurants

Wanting restaurant guests to enjoy their meal and camaraderie with friends and family, Vinya Wine is spearheading an initiative to encourage patrons to enjoy a sip of wine with friends or family on National No Phone Day. Organized by Allegra Angelo, Vinya Wine partner and sommelier, Tuesday, April 18 has been declared No Phone Day,

W Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach to Host Post Tortuga Party

The Tortuga Music Festival on Fort Lauderdale Beach will bring thousands of concertgoers to the area for a weekend of live musical entertainment. The popular event is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with headliners Eric Church (Friday), Shania Twain (Saturday) and Kenny Chesney (Sunday), each performing for more than 25,000 fans. However, the party

Other Posts

WSVN’s Today in Florida Morning News Program Welcomes New Anchor Team

It is the No. 1-rated morning news program in South Florida.

Are the Dolphins Super Bowl Bound?

More than one preseason projection has Miami as a potential contender for the crown in 2023.

Dogdrop Prepares for First Florida Location in Fort Lauderdale

The on-demand dog daycare provider aims to revolutionize the pet care industry by providing unparalleled services and experiences for pets and their owners. 

Suits, Stilettos and Lipstick (SSL) Foundation Hosts Annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception

The nonprofit organization will award 10 deserving women from Broward College with the Heidi Dennis Wonder Woman Scholarship.