Chris Barcia with actor Paul Sorvino who dined at his restaurant Palazzo 53 last Saturday.Submitted Photo
Palazzo 53, the new upscale Italian Restaurant on Main Street, Pittston, was busy on Saturday night, January 8, but not too busy to seat Paul Sorvino. The Hollywood actor and director, best known for his role as Paulie Cicero in Goodfellas, dined at Palazzo that evening.
Palazzo owner Chris Barcia said one of his regular customers Bob Thiel from Scranton and Thiel’s wife brought Sorvino, a family friend, to Palazzo.
Sharon, the hostess, seated Sorvino and the Thiels. “It was great,” she said. “I met him before at the Hotel Nichols in Clarks Summit when he filmed a scene there. I had a walk through part. Nobody bothered him. They took a look at him and went about their business. It was exciting, though. There was a buzz having a celebrity dining with us.”
Barcia said everyone was good about giving Sorvino some space. “When he first sat down we laid off him. We stayed back. As soon as he sat down he ordered a drink, a Maker’s Mark. After a drink and dinner, he called me out. He said he was very, very pleased with the food and service. He’s a chef and he said liked the attention to detail for a simple dish. He had a fried mozzarella appetizer and chicken marsala.
“He liked the atmosphere,” Barcia went on. “He said he felt like the Rat Pack was going to walk in at any moment. After dinner, he warmed up. He was really friendly. He talked to the customers at the bar, told stories and they took pictures with their cell phones.”
Gina Santana waited on Sorvino and the Thiels. “I wasn’t nervous at all. It was fun,” she said. “It was pretty cool to have somebody like that in Pittston. Nice guy to wait on. They stayed awhile and enjoyed everything which was great. He said he’ll come back again and that’s great. People were trying to figure out who he was. Toward the end of his dinner a couple ladies from one of my tables came over and talked to him.”
How was the tip?
“Honestly,” she said, “I don’t remember exactly, but it was a good tip.”
Barcia said Sorvino said the next time he dines at Palazzo’s he’ll bring his friend Federico Castelluccio who played Furio Giunta on The Sopranos.
Sorvino, 71, had a role in Law & Order in the 1990s. He also played in major role in the late Jason Miller’s play That Championship Season and portrayed Henry Kissinger in the 1995 movie Nixon.