Catch up on the latest about Cafe Martorano, Steve Martorano and the Martorano Brand. From Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Hollywood Fl and New Jersey


The Secret is in the Sauce

Steve Martorano isn’t your average chef, nor does he want to be. ​

By Jan Norris
Photography by Felipe Cuevas

Steve Martorano is a walking paradox. His big, tough-guy image melts as he tears up remembering his recently deceased mother. He lacks professional culinary training, yet his street smarts and business acumen have landed him at the helm of four successful restaurants. And though he’s “pushing 59,” he’s still cooking and spinning as a DJ seven days a week at one of his namesake establishments.

“I gotta protect my brand,” Martorano says. “I work every day. It’s why I’m still around.” It’s who he is—and just in case you forget, his name is on display everywhere at his restaurants.

Open Table debutes its 100 hottest Restaurants in the country for 2016

OpenTable—the online restaurant reservations system—just released its “100 Hottest Restaurants in America for 2016.” And it’s refreshing, to say the least.

So how is this list different from more prestigious rankings such as The World’s 50 Best Restaurants or France’s La Liste? Or even the James Beard Awards and Michelin.

Most notably, there are no rankings or titles or awards. The restaurants that made the cut are simply called “honorees.” And the data is culled from more than five million reviews from verified OpenTable users in all 50 states and Washington D.C. Because of this, the list bears no resemblance to the others.

As for the restaurants, all 100 are in 27 states. California tops the list with 25, closely followed by New York, which is home to 15. Illinois has seven. And a number of restaurants in the South such as Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, and more account for nearly 20 percent of this year’s hot spots.

40/40 Club (New York, New York)

8 Up (Louisville, Kentucky)

Acorn (Denver, Colorado)

Alley Cat Oyster Bar (Cleveland, Ohio) *

AsiaSF (San Francisco, California)

B.B. King’s Blues Club (Memphis, Tennessee)

Beauty and Essex (New York, New York)

Bestia (Los Angeles, California)

Buccan (Palm Beach, Florida)

Buddakan (New York, New York)

Café Martorano (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Cassia (Santa Monica, California) *

Chino Latino (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Cork & Pig Tavern #2 (Odessa, Texas)

Culinary Dropout (Tempe, Arizona)

Current (Salt Lake City, Utah) *

Departure Restaurant and Lounge (Portland, Oregon)

E.P.+L.P. (West, Hollywood, California) *

Eight4Nine (Palm Springs, California) *

El Camino Mexican Soul Food & Tequila Bar (Delray Beach, Florida)

Steve Martorano on Cafe Martorano Changes: "The Floor Alone Will Be Spectacular"

Cafe Martorano has, once again, closed for its annual late-summer break and face-lift. The restaurant closed this past weekend and, according to owner Steve Martorano, will open around September 23.

Martorano says the time off from serving guests will give him the opportunity to do some major upgrades to the restaurant. 

"Last year was just a tweak. This year, everything that I worked for all my life will come together, from floor to ceiling," he tells New Times.  

When pressed for details on the upgrades, the restaurateur/cook would only tease the changes being made to his eponymous cafe. 

"I can't say. You have to have some kind of a surprise. What I can say is that it will be like walking into a time of black and white. A time of nostalgia that you don't see anymore," says Martorano. "Everyone wants to put a million dollars into what's hip and trendy. Every year, we try to be modern. This year. we're going for warmth. You're going to walk in and say,


'Wow — I'm in New York City or Boston or Philadelphia.' The floor, alone, will be spectacular." 

His only hint about that spectacular floor?

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