Photo courtesy of Steve Martorano.

A celebrity chef is rolling the dice on a new restaurant at Rivers Casino.

Steve Martorano, who operates popular eateries in Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas and Atlantic City, will open Martorano’s Prime in late 2019. The menu will be a fusion of Italian-American cuisine and steakhouse staples.

The upscale spot will replace Andrew’s Steak & Seafood, which will close after Labor Day Weekend.

“The Rivers Casino came to us looking to bring a fresh and exciting concept to the property,” says Martorano, a Philadelphia native who got his start in the business selling sandwiches door-to-door. “We are bringing South Philly to Pittsburgh. That’s my expertise.”

He announced his plans for Martorano’s Prime last month on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” as he prepared linguine and clams for the host. Known for his colorful commentary and cooking demonstrations, Martorano is a frequent guest on television shows such as “The View,” “Good Morning America” and “Kathie Lee & Hoda.”

Martorano has also written two books: “Yo Cuz! My Life, My Food, My Way” and “It Ain’t Sauce, It’s Gravy,” chronicling his culinary journey and his recipes, many of which originated in his late grandmother’s kitchen.

Café Martorano, his flagship restaurant in Florida, was recognized by OpenTable as one of the “100 Hottest Restaurants in America.” His two other locations are housed in casinos.

The work of adding a fourth location may mean he’ll get a bit less sleep, Martorano says. But it won’t impact quality control or brand consistency, which he says are priorities.

Martorano’s Prime will boast an upscale aesthetic, including caramel and white marble facades, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, crystal chandeliers, mahogany, crisp linens and polished silver. There will be seating for approximately 200 guests. Tables for two will dot the perimeter, while four- and six-tops will be on the main floor around a bar and private dining area. A patio will be open seasonally.

Rendering of Rivers Casino’s new Landing Hotel. Courtesy of Massaro Corporation.
Rendering of Rivers Casino’s new Landing Hotel. Courtesy of Massaro Corporation.

The arrival of Martorano’s Prime coincides with Rivers Casino’s 10th anniversary. The facility opened in August 2009 and recently added the Event Center, a 25,000-square-foot grand hall. The Landing Hotel, a $60 million project with 219 guest rooms, will make its debut adjacent to the casino in 2021.

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.