Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tough Times at Marco Polo in Carroll Gardens

There are not happy times at Carroll Gardens' Marco Polo restaurant on Court Street. The restaurant's owner, Joseph (Marco Polo) Chirico, was caught up in the Gambino crime family busts last week. The 63-year-old restaurant owner, who is a friend of many of Brooklyn's top public officials, including Borough President Marty Markowitz, was arraigned yesterday and released on $1 million bond. From the Post:
Chirico - freed on bond after putting up his Staten Island mansion as collateral - is accused of collecting $1,500 that was extorted from trucking-company executive Joseph Vollaro on behalf of fellow Gambino soldier Jerome Brancato. Vollaro - now in protective custody - wore a wire for three years to gather evidence against the Gambinos for authorities...The Italian immigrant's involvement in the case has stunned Brooklynites - among them judges, politicians and civic leaders who have frequented his eateries.
And a taste of the Daily News coverage:
But Chirico will be able to go back to work serving up gnocchi, capellini and other Italian fare at the restaurant he and his wife, Rosa, have run since 1983, said his lawyer, Joseph Benfante. "I guess we just can't serve the 'Godfather Special' on Sunday anymore," Benfante joked.

The lawyer maintained that Chirico was caught in the fed's net only because he did a favor he shouldn't have.
As PMFA put it, "Not a good week for Marco Polo."

[Photo courtesy of tokenygaard/flickr]



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but is anyone surprised by this? I live in the area and there is almost never anybody in that place. The one I time i did eat there, the food was overpriced and thoroughly mediocre. It figures....

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The food here sucks anyway.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband and I went to Marco Polo for our first Valentine's Day together, 12 years ago. We still lived in Manhattan then, and made the pilgrimage out. It wasn't the best experience, and we stood out like sore thumbs. (Local 20-something guys in their Gucci loafers kept commenting on my husband's shoes -- blue Docs.) We have never gone back there to eat.

Did anyone witness the cop car crashing into the window last week? Pretty extensive damage. Luckily, no one was hurt.

We've lived here 12 years now. It was a much safer neighborhood then. Everyone knew everyone. When the Mob moves out, crime moves in...

12:01 AM  
Blogger ANNA said...

I have eaten there on numerous occasions and have never been disappointed. The food and service is excellent. The seafood risotto is delicious.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Marco POLO everyone is so friendly. The owner Joe is such a terrific guy. Everyone in the neighborhood including myself had parties there. They have excellent service and great food. I cant believe how the media bashes a good man. Never believe what the media says they tend to over exaggerate. Look all theses famous actors and actress how the media tends to ruin there good name. All I am saying never bash a good name or judge someone before you know the truth.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marco Polo is one of my favorite restaurants! Times are changing now and nothing is the way it used to be. You cant find an italian restaurant that good anymore. I met the owner once and he was extremly nice and ery generous. This is shocking to me and i highly believe any of this is true. Just because the man owns a restaurant and wears an italian suit and happens to be italian doesnt make him a mobster!

9:52 AM  

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