In today's bit of quasi-celebrity local news, restaurateur Steve Martorano appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show last night.
During the segment, Martorano talked about how he got his start in the dining industry by selling sandwiches out of his Philadelphia apartment -- without a restaurant license. When the authorities busted him, he moved his operation into his mom's basement. It doesn't take a major stretch of the imagination to picture the beefy Martorano tied up in illicit schemes (he keeps The Godfather 2 running on a loop in the restaurant, and there sure does seem to be a lot of deep-voiced Italians sucking down spaghetti there on any given day) -- but it is kinda funny to hear his description of how those early deals went down: "Guys would come up and say, 'Hey Steve, gimme a veal cutlet! Gimme a chicken parm!'"
Gotta hand it to Martorano. He's got a flair self-promotion. With big-shot entertainment publicists working the phones trying to get their Next Big Thing actor a slot on the show, Martorano somehow managed to get 10 minutes to show Kimmel how to fry a meatball.
Here's a little home video of Mr. Martorano pimping out famous people who've stopped in for dinner:
-- Deirda Funcheon