Guido Grasso is a part-time actor and comedian, and a full-time restaurateur. He opened Sapori di Napoli in 2010.
What made you decide to open a restaurant?
I was in LA, trying to be a movie star and my career wasn’t really going anywhere. I had been delivering pizza for Joe’s Pizza, which is from New York but they had a restaurant in LA, so I had learned a lot about how to make a good pizza from them, and I combined that with what I had learned from my mother’s pizza and the rest is history.
Your restaurant has a very unique atmosphere.
It’s a homey place. Anybody who grew up Italian in this city probably grew up in a duplex, in a basement. The restaurant looks a lot like an Italian grandmother’s house. (laughing) It’s pretty much an extension of my parent’s’ living room because I let my parents decorate it.
Do you have special philosophy or approach to pizza-making?
First of all, our food has been tried and tested for over a hundred years. We’re not re-inventing the wheel. Without giving too much away, our style of pizza is a combination of traditional Napolitan and a little bit Italian grandmother. Because we’re in North America, we tried to change it up a little bit. Why be like everybody else?
I know you meet a lot of celebrities through your movie work. Who’s the most famous person who ever ate in your restaurant?
We’ve had some of the Sopranos, when they were filming here. Jake “The Snake” Roberts walked in one day, that was the funniest thing. But I’d have to say our most famous customer was Ron Jeremy, the porn star. I’m sure everybody in the restaurant knew who he was, but no one was going to admit it. My father said: “When he’s done, throw away the plate and the fork!”
Sapori di Napoli is at 1463 Rue Dudemaine.
Guido’s next show is December 8th at the Regent Theatre in Boston. http://regenttheatre.com/details/guido_grasso_live
Writer: Robbie Dillon