These days, all eyes are on Taylor Swift. That’s truth.
Even her choice of restaurants makes news. So when one of her very favorite New York city chef’s opened his first South Florida spot, we had to check it out.
Chef Anthony Vitolo is the talent behind “Vitolo,” the Conrad hotel’s latest addition to the Fort Lauderdale food scene.
Anthony Vitolo: “‘Vitolo’ is a family restaurant here in Fort Lauderdale that is bringing our traditional family recipes from New York.”
Chef’s Manhattan eatery is called “Emilio’s Ballato.” It’s a celebrity hot spot, with top shelf Italian food lovers like Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade, Tracy Morgan, Al Pacino and Owen Wilson is also popping in sometimes.
Taylor Swift was turned on to it by a celebrity friend.
Anthony Vitolo: “Sophie Turner, she’s been coming in for five six years and she brought Taylor Swift as part of her party.”
This was no one-night fling. Taylor dug it so much, she brought her bff’s.
Anthony Vitolo: “Taylor obviously loved the food and she just wanted to come back for a girl’s night with all her girlfriends.”
What’s not to love. Neapolitan-Italian cuisine doesn’t get more authentic than this.
Anthony Vitolo: “Neapolitan is simple ingredients but the best ingredients like simple San Marzano tomatoes, good olive oil, good pasta.”
You want good pasta? Dig into a bowl of this bad boy.
Anthony Vitolo: “I have a tagliatelle bolognese, which is a pork veal and beef ragu that I cook for seven hours, slowly cooked.”
There’s also a massive chicken parmigiana, veal chop parmigiana and chef Anthony’s take on an old favorite.
Anthony Vitolo: “Like basically, it’s an Italian-American grilled cheese but fried and then you have mozzarella cheese inside, and you serve it with tomato sauce.”
The kitchen’s not the only place where the magic goes down.
The folks at the bar can be very crafty when it comes to making cocktails.
Anthony Vitolo: “So one of our top sellers is Emilio’s Manhattan, which is a tribute to my father. It’s a whisky drink that’s smoked in cherry oak.”
If that’s not your style, try the lena limon-a.
Anthony Vitolo: “It’s made with eleven vodka. It’s basically a lemon drop martini.”
Don’t expect any bells and whistles at Vitolo. You’re getting the kind of food that’s honest and tasty.
Just ask Taylor Swift.
Anthony Vitolo: “And Italian food is meant to be simple. It’s not meant to be complicated. Simple ingredients like I said but done the right way.”
Jesslyn Wade: “The food, the ingredients, you can tell it was very fresh and it’s made with lots of love.”
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