By guest blogger and Swap Shop columnist Sandy Thorn Clark
Crooner extraordinaire Frankie Valli loves pasta - especially his own - and admits he would eat it every day if he didn't "have to watch his weight."
Wow. That's like a size-0 model lamenting about her waist size.
At a Saturday luncheon in his honor (at, appropriately named, Frankie's Scaloppine & 5th Floor Pizzeria in The 900 Shops on the Mag Mile), Valli was astonishingly thin as he made his grand entrance via escalator to his hit "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and the welcoming applause and screams of his loyal fans.
If Valli - who will be 75 on May 3 - always dines with fans whose eyes adore him, it's easy to see how he's been able to avoid the very paunch he fears. Selecting from a family-style spread that included chicken Caesar salad, gnocchi pomodoro, wood-fired pepperoni pizza, and spaghetti, the jeans-clad headliner would take a small bite of pizza, cordially yak with a fan, take another bite, sign an autograph, take another bite, pose for cameras.
The bespectacled Valli rarely had time to exchange words with his tablemates, the current stars of "Jersey Boys," the Broadway in Chicago mega-hit which chronicles his life with The Four Seasons.
"The pizza is pretty good," observed Valli, who loves to cook and rates his spaghetti and meatballs second to none. His secret to fab spaghetti? "Lots of love."
"I use my mom's recipe, and I cook with love just like she did," Valli confided.
And soaking breadcrumbs first in warm milk is the key to great meatballs.