Say what you will about Scarface, but he always looked well fed. Now his family’s secret recipes (discovered in Capone’s warehouses by 1920’s G-men in search of illegal booze) have been unveiled to the public and brought to you by entrepreneur Nico Santucci, CEO and owner of Capo’s Restaurants.
Santucci recently acquired the "Capone Family Secret" trademark and company located in Cicero, IL, from Dominic Capone (reputed grandnephew of Al Capone) and Trademark Trustee Desiree Alonzo. Talk about going right to the source – or in this case, the sauce.
Even notorious gangsters like Al Capone had mothers (and grandmothers, aunts, and cousins) who knew how to produce a mean marinara or a genuine giardiniera.
On November 2, Santucci hosted a themed Prohibition Party at his luxurious Parisian Palace to officially launch Capo’s Foods’ “Capone Family Secret” (CFS) line of products (eleven in all). Vintage cars, wiseguys and molls roamed the elegant estate while guests sampled the goods.
The “Capone Family Secret” recipes are classic Italian specialties that have been under wraps for nearly 80 years. In addition to a Traditional Red Sauce, the line offers a Tomato and Basil version and a Spicy Rustico which delivers a hint of heat – enough to liven up the pasta without setting your tongue on fire.
Of course, if you want hot, there’s Capo’s “Capone Family Secret” Recipe Hot Olive Salad or Hot Pepper Mix Giardiniera for a sizzling sensation with each bite. The Bread and Butter Garlic Cloves with Jalapenos give their own flavorful kick. These three products are available in mild versions as well.
CFS Fire Roasted Red Peppers enhance any savory offering with an authentic taste of Italy, right from a jar. Wash it all down with CFS soft drinks, in Orange Black Cherry, Root Beer (diet, too) and Cream Soda. What’s not to like?
The products can be purchased individually or in gift sets, which come with a numbered certificate of authenticity and secret recipe card, all packed in the company’s trademarked prohibition boxes. They can be purchased exclusively through www.caposfoods.com or you can order specialty dishes featuring two of the sauces on a visit to Capo’s.
Capo’s restaurant in Las Vegas (West Sahara location) offers the Traditional Red Sauce along with the Spicy Rustico variety. If you’ve never experienced Capo’s (and it is an experience) you are in for a delightful discovery. There’s the deceptive phone booth in the foyer, the red booths, the mafia-chic décor, the live band, the seductively dark ambience, the little flashlights… No wonder it’s often referred to as "The Original Las Vegas Speakeasy.”
But back to the Parisian Palace and its gracious host/owner Nico Santucci. The multifaceted entrepreneur is also the CEO of Black Door Global, Inc. and owner of Capo’s Foods, a Las Vegas-based gourmet foods company with an emphasis on specialty Italian pasta sauces, condiments and seasoning products. All manufacturing and distribution is handled through its Chicago headquarters, which gives it an authentic flavor all its own.
The CFS launch at the elegant Parisian Palace lured Las Vegas icon Robin Leach into the kitchen where a tray of fist-sized meatballs were expertly transformed into sauce-laden appetizers, along with an addictive balsamic-covered Caprese salad topped by mild giardiniera. A nearby table held a variety of “Capone’s Family Secret” products clustered together like a reunion of sorts. After all, they hadn’t seen each other for eight decades.
Your humble correspondent favored the Bread and Butter Garlic Cloves in vinegar, a product that makes it possible to snack on garlic as if it were olives, crunching one after the other in a sweet tanginess that some aficionados and maybe even the notorious Capone himself would agree, is to die for.
The Parisian Palace was once the set for VH1’s Supergroup, starring Ted Nugent, Sebastian Bach, Scott Ian, Evan Seinfeld and Led Zeppelin heir Jason Bonham.
Buddhas abound in the 14,000 square ft. house that sits on an acre of lush vegetation on the city’s west side. Within its eclectic grounds lies a nightclub, bowling alley, an Indonesian salt pool, screening room, thirteen chandeliers, nine bathrooms, eight bedrooms (suites, actually) seven fireplaces, a five foot wide, 650 pound door, murals and artwork-bedecked hallways. Oh yes, and a piano in the rotunda.
Perhaps the greatest draw of the venue is its gracious and charismatic owner, Nico Santucci. As stylish and elegant as his surroundings, Santucci, a self-made multi-millionaire embodies the excitement and celebrity of the Las Vegas (and Los Angeles) social scene. The successful businessman has a slew of A-list friends who probably would all agree that he is just as big a star as they are – and he doesn’t have to put on a performance or maintain an act.
Just being Nico Santucci is enough.
When it comes to Capo’s Restaurants and Capo’s Foods featuring Capo’s “Capone Family Secret” products, DON’T “fuhgeddaboudit!”
Photo Credit: John Hardin