Mafiosi in Philadelphia have a long association with food --- in importing, as grocery store owners, and of course, in the restaurants many owned. Readers to this site can use these recipes, reprinted by permission from the Mob Historian Celeste A. Morello, who called upon the relatives of Mafiosi and the chefs who cooked their special diners. More "Mob recipes" can be found in Morello's The Philadelphia Italian Market Cookbook (1999) as well as in Philadelphia's Foods: A History of over 200 Years (2006).

The grandsons of several Mafiosi were great cooks. First there is Rocco Rugnetta whose grandfather was Joseph "Mr. Joe" Rugnetta owner of "South Philly Grille." Then there's Robert Barretta, the grandson of Raymond "Long John" Martorano who renamed "Cous' Little Italy" restaurant to "Torano's." Barretta was taught by Cous and he worked at John Gotti's "Taormina's Ristorante" in New York's Little Italy. Lastly is Marc A. Haud the loving grandson of Joseph Lagana, part of the Calabrian faction in the Philly Family.

Of the Mob-related restaurants in Philly,"Cous' Little Italy" had the best reputation in association with orgainized crime, but members also enjoyed places where they would be relatively unknown, such as in "The Saloon": Joey Merlino met his wife here; "Dante & Luigi's": a botched attempted killing of Nicky Scarfo, Jr. accidently happened here; "Scannicchio's" moved to South Philly, from Atlantic City --- it's where the Scarfo Family and Frank Sinatra ate Christian Varelli's best dishes.


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