The recent roundup of Gambino mobsters turned up a weird, though not completely surprising, tidbit of local Carroll Gardens news. Among the figures indicted was none other than Joseph Chirico, president of the Brooklyn branch of the New York Restaurant Association, and the owner of the Marco Polo Ristorante on Court Street. Chirico's mob name was actually "Joe Marco Polo." Even weirder, this means that the grand old eatery Gage & Tollner was once owned by a Goodfella!—Chirico possessed the property for the few years before the place went under.
Lord knows, Marco Polo has always seemed like that kind of place. It's rarely crowded and yet keeps going and going and going. It has that kind of grand-cum-tacky decor the the mob seems to love. And the folks inside are usually hardcore local types.
According to Time Out, "The NYSRA claimed to be unaware of the indictment, and declined to comment. Calls to the restaurant placed Chirico `on vacation in Aruba.'"