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Café Martorano


Name: Nikko Capria
Occupation: Entertainer/Producer
Lives In: Boca Raton
Favorite Restaurant: Café Martorano
Reviewed Café Martorano: March 13th, 2008

Parking is right in front of the restaurant. As soon as you walk in the experience is overwhelming. Loud music, disco lights flashing, plasmas everywhere. Wonderful service, very attentive. Delicious food.

Name: Gary Solomon
Occupation: Recipe Website Founder
Lives In: Boynton Beach
Favorite Restaurant: Dada Restaurant
Reviewed Café Martorano: March 10th, 2008

As soon as I entered this establishment, I knew was not for me. If it wasn’t for Check, Please! I would have gone elsewhere. Four of us sat down and we were handed menus. We almost passed out reviewing the prices. $38.00 for an entrée a la carte. We already knew no drinks, appetizers, or dessert. What could possibly warrant these prices? We were in decision to order pastas and an appetizer. At first, I couldn’t figure the restaurant out. All I knew was that I felt like we were in a time warp! As the evening progressed, the crowd got older, bustier, and clothes started getting tighter. I thought with the “tough” waiter attitude and the clientele that this might be some type of theme restaurant. My friend insisted that “this isn’t a theme fantasy, Gary”. This is real: a group of people who never moved forward from the 1980s. We felt so out of place. Videos of couples that were totally inappropriate. Not a terrific place for a first date, until I saw one! I was so embarrassed for my guests that I paid for the entire check and even left a call for the show producer. So much for my Check, Please! per diem. There is no need to visit this tacky, crude, overpriced restaurant. Then again, I am sure there is a clientele for them.

Name: Irene Hung
Occupation: Research Administrator
Lives In: Miami
Favorite Restaurant: Happy Wine
Reviewed Café Martorano: March 11th, 2008

After the not-so-quick drive through traffic from Miami-Dade County, we drove across the bridge to an unsuspecting strip mall where this restaurant is located in Broward. The all-black exterior coincided with their rough-and-tough looking website. My friend had heard positive things about this place before, so we were looking forward to a good meal after a long day at work. We pulled up for the valet to park the car.

The initial digestion of the surroundings took a good 15 minutes. It was such a mixture of characters—younger males with tattoos drinking at the bar with the senior citizen sitting at the table eating. You’re not sure whether to fixate on the lime green walls, the flatscreen TVs, or the disco balls. We were promptly brought to a table after the host sat the party that entered before us. The server brought us menus, promptly sat down so we could hear him tell us the specials over the music, and introduced himself. “Hi, Scott!”

We proceeded to look over the wine options and decided on a blend of Amaro ($23), our preference—a blend of three grapes that was a great drinking wine providing complex flavors and an interesting finish. The Sangiovese ($13) was lighter and less interesting, though was a fine meal accompaniment. My friend had heard about a one of the pastas in a white and red sauce mix, but apparently it didn’t exist. We asked to order the clam special appetizer while we decided on the rest of the menu. “Sorry, you have to order the entire meal.”

Decisions, decisions: gnocchi special had veal… pasta with white sauce was alfredo… finally we decided on the clam special appetizer with a pasta dish (Orecchiette) with sausage and a fish dish—the special for the night. Instead, Scott suggests we get one of their other appetizers if we had never been there—the eggplant. Thank you, Scott. The eggplant appetizer was a really great combination of flavors and textures—by far, the highlight of the meal. The crunchiness of the breaded and fried eggplant, paired with the lightness of the salad in a tangy vinaigrette, and a soft mozzarella was really exquisite.

The main dishes were an exercise in excess. The huge plates, one of grouper topped with lobster and shrimp with a heavy sauce with a side of broccoli rabe sautéed in garlic and olive oil and salt, and orzo rice with cheese and butter, and the orecchiette with sausage and red and white beans, were all too salty, too saucy, and too expensive. My mouth thirsts for water at the thought. After eating less than a third of our meals because we were so stuffed, we thought—well, let’s at least try the dessert so we can provide the full experience. The special dessert that night, a fried cinnamon tortilla bowl with Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream and berries was good, but we were all too full to really enjoy it. After paying the bill of $200 + tip, a last glance at the two women dancing in the corner to some Biggie, and a wave bye to our server, we were on our way. Maybe they will see me again if one day I find myself in the neighborhood, but just for a glass of wine and appetizer.

Michelle's Take:
A total mafia hangout with upscale Italian food, usually the menu is verbally given to you by the waiters. You might find on any given night, sexy women dancing on the bar with very little clothing, a disco ball in the center, mafia movies going on and the chef, best of all, is cooking and picking basil in one hand and spinning records in the other.

Restaurant Information

Location: 3343 E Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Phone: (954) 561-2554
Parking: Valet
Restaurant Owner: Steve Martorano
Executive Chef: Steve Martorano

Type of Cuisine: Italian
Signature Dishes: Meatballs
Alcohol Served: Beer & Wine
Corkage Fee: $30

Restaurant Hours:
Monday – 5:00 p.m. – Midnight
Tuesday – 5:00 p.m. – Midnight
Wednesday – 5:00 p.m. – Midnight
Thursday – 5:00 p.m. – Midnight
Friday – 5:00 p.m. – Midnight
Saturday – 5:00 p.m. – Midnight
Sunday – 5:00 p.m. – Midnight

Meals Served: Dinner
Prix Fix Menu: No
Take-Out: No
Delivery: No
Average Dinner Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, 15% gratuity, w/o alcohol): $60
Payment Options: All major credit cards
Accept Reservations: No
Need Reservations: No

Accommodations for Children: No
Dining Style: Business casual
Disabled Access: Yes
Restaurant Size: Seats 180
Accommodate Groups: Yes
Private Dining Room: No
Tables with Scenic Views: No
Outdoor Dining: No
Entertainment: Live DJ music & TVs with movie highlights