Steve Martorano knows how to do things really well - cook grub and rake in the celebs.
The restaurateur/sometime DJ expanded his brand big time Thursday night, with the grand opening of Martorano's Italian American Kitchen at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Famous fans of his Fort Lauderdale hub came out in force. Some of the first to arrive were Frank Stallone, rapper Fat Joe, former Sopranos star Joe Gannascoli (Vito), who snapped pictures of white carpet walkers outside, and Frank Vincent (Phil).
Next up: The Jersey Shore's resident ab master, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, who wouldn't confirm or deny whether the MTV hit is moving to South Beach.
“That's the rumor,” said the jovial Jerseyite. “I don't know exactly where we’re going. As far as I know, wherever The Situation is going to be is gonna be good.”
Why do you think the show is so popular?
“Probably because the Situation is on it,” he said, smirking.
Well, the guy has reason to smirk - he's working the show's success to his advantage and claims to be coming out with a fragrance, book and iPhone app. He also trademarked the men’s look-good mantra, “GTL”, meaning, “Gym, Tan and Laundry.”
“I'm a businessman first and foremost,” said Sorrentino. “And I went to college!”
Even though the Situation stole a little of her thunder, Real Housewives of New York Kelly Bensimon was in a good mood, taking advantage of Miami for the first time. “As a model I used to just drop in but now that I've gotten to actually stay, I'm really enjoying myself with my two daughters.” Bensimon refereed the Sony Ericsson Open exhibition match with Mel B and Jay Sean and hung out at the Winter Music Conference Alize Oasis gifting suite at the Raleigh hotel.
As for season 2 of the Bravo show, expect “drama, drama, drama.''
Some of the last guests to arrive were Jason Taylor with wife Katina. Is the Dolphin watching this season's Dancing with the Stars? “Nope, we don't watch much television,” Taylor said. “Nancy Grace and that's about it. She gets all the bad people in society and tears 'em apart.”
“We watch movies more,” said Katina. “All the buttered popcorn!”
Like anything lately?
“She's Out of my League, that was funny. And It's Complicated,” said Taylor. “I'll watch female movies, I don't have a problem with that.”
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino enjoys a cannoli at Martorano's Hard Rock.