Cafe Martorano Shuns the Tap

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

Dan, we're guessing, drank the bottled stuff.

It was somewhere before the waiter brought out what might be the world's best grilled octopus that he broke the news. "If you want to drink water, we only serve bottled water," he said. And I had no doubt there would be no exceptions. That's spelled out on the Cafe Martorano menu in all caps, right above the warning that there will be "NO BALL BREAKING."

No ball breaking I can handle, but no tap water? Bottled water has been out of vogue for, what, since Al Gore was in the picture?

Not at Fort Lauderdale's Cafe Martorano, says publicist Alan Brown. "Any of the finer

restaurants that you go into here, that's the way it's done," Brown


True, but I've never dined in a place too fancy to bring out a little

tap. In response, Brown says: "Tap water doesn't taste great, so he

serves bottled water."

The "he" Brown is referring to is owner Steve Martorano, the

self-taught chef who got his start hawking sandwiches from his

apartment in Philly.

Brown says it's all about helping the food taste good, which, I'll admit, was among the best meals I've ever had, start to finish. "If you're going

to eat such good food," Brown says, "that's what goes with it: bottled water."

Diners don't seem to care. Martorano now has a second joint in Las Vegas and is planning a third in Aventura.

-- Eric Barton

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.