Cafe Martorano at the Rio
Just The Facts, Please.
Daily 6pm - 11:00pm
Loud Atmosphere. No Substitutions or changes on menu items.
Sample Menu Items
Eggplant Stack with mozzarella, tomato and arugula
Bucatini Amatriciana – pancetta, red onion, San Marzano tomato sauce and Pecorino Romano cheese
Veal Picatta – tender slices of veal in a light lemon wine sauce, crisp capers and risotto
South Philly Cheesesteak –caramelized onions and American cheese on a crisp Italian roll served with truffle parmesan fries
Mavens Overview: Martorano
Steve Martorano describes his cuisine as South Philly Italian. Most people think of South Philly cuisine as Pat's Cheesesteaks, that is not what Steve has in mind. Steve describes the revamping of his menu:
Recently, Martorano revamped the menu at both his Florida and Vegas restaurants. "I've always done things my way," he explained. "I'm old-school Italian and I've always cooked what I love to eat, but my tastes have grown and my new menu reflects what and how I'm eating now." Menu favorites like Sunday Pork Gravy and the legendary Martorano Meatball will be joined by innovative dishes such as Fried Calamari with Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce, Braised Pigs Feet and Chicken Sicilian with Cherry Vinegar Peppers and homemade Risotto.
Martorano's is known for its loud, very loud, atmosphere. People either love or hate the atmosphere, and that seems to trump the food here.
The Internet Buzz is mixed, people seem to either love or hate this restaurant, very few middle of the road reviews. The prices are high for the type of food served, mostly standard pasta dishes, but at least the portions are large. San Marzano tomatoes are used in the tomatoes dishes, just like at Rao's. Although Steve puts "American Cheese" on his Cheesesteak antipasti, what would they say about that in South Philly?
As an a side note Chef Martorano is known for his strict "no changes or substitutions on menu items.
Internet Buzz: Martorano
- It must be noted that this restaurant is pretty loud with music and movie clips so knowing this in advance is important. The atmosphere is rather dimly light, upscale and modern with televisions displayed in numerous places with mafia and mobster movies playing - cool!
- "Steve Martorano….may just make the best meatball in the world." Gourmet Magazine, October 2007
- I'm a foodie and know for a fact I could cook proteins better than the head "cook". I know for a fact there are better tasting pastas from Sysco. I also know when I can taste a marinara that has a base of canned tomatoes yet it's called "homemade".. I know for a fact that Lipton style instant Iced Tea out of a bottle doesn't cut it as a drink at a restaurant in the price range.
- South-Philly style Italian, whatever that means. But it must be important because they keep reminding you that's what they serve. And the Thuggish impresario wants you to know he's really cool and creative. In fact, the place seems more concerned with that than the food.
- Muscle man Steve Martorano serves overpriced East Coast Italian food at his restaurant in the Rio, where we dined with our foodie friends on Sunday evening. Although nothing we had was bad and everything was well-seasoned, I still left with a bad taste in my mouth due to the prices and the atmosphere.
- I like the food. I really do. And the service is great. But there is something so Jersey Shore about this place. I know it is Vegas, but after 8 hours in a casino with smoke and lights and ding!ding!ding! of slot machines, I want to have a quiet dinner. Martorano's goes from Italian eatery to nightclub around 7pm when the music starts blaring and the disco balls start spinning (seriously). It just gets too loud for me.
- I loved this place! The food was incredible. We chose the price fix menu for $39 , plus appetizers. The meatball and salad was incredible. The main course of rigatoni and chicken was perfect, and the cannolis were fluffy and sweet and very fresh.
- It is a bit pricey. The cheesesteak was $24. Most of the more formal meals were in the mid 40's.
- lots of fried options and the portions are alot bigger than celeb chef run restaurants (like B&B in the Venetian). I ordered the bucatini all' amatriciana which was perfectly al dente and right on point sauce wise.
- The meatball appetizer was great. People rave about it and it did not disappoint. A huge tasty meatball with a glob of great ricotta cheese. For a main course, I had the veal marsala. It was a huge veal chop which was so tender and good. The gnocchi that came with it were nice and fluffy. And the mushroom sauce was great.
- The theme of the restaurant is his way or the highway, where from 5-7pm music like sinatra is played, then from 7-8pm it's 80's music, and then from 9-close is club style hip hop since the restaurant turns into a 1/2 club at night. And throughout any of this, the music will pause, the lights will dim and all of the many plasmas on the walls will show one of his favorite scenes from one of his favorite moives (casino,the godfather, knockaround guys.....) and then quickly before anything gets too gory the music resumes and the lights come back up.
- Linguine in white clam sauce is quite simply, in a league of its own. Perfectly al dente linguine is served with fresh clams, olive oil, crushed red pepper and Italian parsley. It's perfection.