Tony Bennett checks out the Naples (Florida) Italian food scene before performing at Artis—Naples
Tony Bennett loves a good Italian meal in Naples.
Naples, Florida, that is.
When he visited Southwest Florida last year, the Grammy Award-winning singer was spotted dining at Cibo in Fort Myers, where he ate steamed little neck clams and spaghetti and meatballs.
In 2017, he dined at Osteria Celli, another Fort Myers favorite.
This year, Bennett ventured south and dined at Parmesan Pete's, 7935 Airport-Pulling Road, in Naples Sunday evening.
On Saturday, the family-owned restaurant received a call from a woman wanting to make a reservation for a party of five for Sunday.
Jacqueline DellaRocca, the daughter of the restaurant's owners Peter and Maria DellaRocca, took the call and let the woman know only outdoor seating would be available.
The woman asked if there was a way indoor seating could be made an option as the reservation was for 92-year-old Tony Bennett.
The Tony Bennett.
"I was blown away," Jacqueline said. "No one like that has ever called — we haven't had any celebrities here before. It was so exciting."
Jacqueline quickly put Bennett's wife on hold and moved things around in order to accommodate the request to sit indoors.
The table's server, Jeff, was up to the task of taking care of the legendary singer.
"He's a great server, so he was ready," Jacqueline said. "We got him pumped up."
And what did Bennett order, you ask?
He started with a clam and shrimp oreganata appetizer.
As for the main course, he went with a classic — rigatoni pasta tossed with a basil tomato sauce, finished with shredded parmesan cheese.
Tony Bennett was honored with a statue in San Francisco to mark his 90th birthday. (Aug. 19)
He ended his meal with sea salt gelato, as a true Italian would.
"To say the least, my husband, Jacqueline and myself were so excited," Maria DellaRocca said. "It just gave us the boost that we needed."
After he dined at Parmesan Pete's, Bennett put on a show at Artis—Naples on Monday evening.
On Facebook, fans called his performance "spectacular" and "truly amazing."
Blame it on Parmesan Pete's.