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Chef of New York Hotspot Emilio’s Ballato Opens Spot in Fort Lauderdale

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The chef and owner behind a New York celebrity hot spot has landed in Fort Lauderdale.

Anthony Vitolo, who co-owns Emilio’s Ballato in SoHo with his family, has opened the eponymous Vitolo at the Conrad hotel, located just a block from the ocean at 551 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard.

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The Italian-American restaurant is a partnership with Rob Crosoli, director of VIP services at E11even, a popular nightclub in Miami. The outpost will have a chef’s table section, an Art Deco-inspired supper club lounge, and an outdoor terrace, according to the Miami New Times.

Unlike many New York restaurateurs who have come to Miami, Vitolo shunned the Magic City for its northern neighbor. “Miami is congested,” Vitolo told Bloomberg. “I’ve had lots of opportunities. But I don’t want to be like everyone else.” 

While Viloto did not name any specific rivals, famed New York restaurants that have opened in Miami include Carbone, Cote and Pastis, among others. 

In New York, Emilio’s Ballato, which also offers Italian American cuisine, is famous for hosting celebrities such as Rihanna. Last month, the restaurant made headlines for having Taylor Swift and actresses Blake Lively and Sophie Turner the night before a Kansas City Chiefs football game in New Jersey. 

Julia Echikson can be reached at jechikson@commercialobserver.com