R A O' S !

Anna and Vincent Rao
Anna & Vincent Rao

A tidbit from Rao’s website plus a tidbit of my insight from the inside…
Chef Bert
“Rao’s is renowned for its jukebox, its quirky decor, its unmatched hospitality and most of all, the spectacular Neapolitan cuisine. It’s also notorious for being one of the most difficult restaurants in New York in which to get a reservation.
But what is it about this tiny, charming restaurant that makes it the most in-demand spot in the city night after night, year after year?
For decades Rao’s existed as a neighborhood restaurant. Its local customers would fill the tables with such regularity that eventually they were given standing reservations – bookings that persevere to this day”.

The mystique of Rao’s in East Harlem, New York City, will remain just that for those who are not fortunate enough to know someone who “owns” (they’re not really owned, but essentially owned) one of the ten tables that serve dinner only and Monday through Friday only.
My high school buddy Roy just happens to be in the meat business in NYC, and between him and Joey ‘Meat’ (whom we had never met. no pun intended), Sandy and I were extended an invitation for dinner at the famed and famous Rao’s on my birthday. The fact that it was my birthday was a coincidence and left room for a more celebratory state of mind.
Walking into Rao’s, especially for the first time, is like entering hallowed ground. My emotions were running high not knowing what to expect…yet anticipating something that went beyond culinary delight. It’s tough enough for me to go to an Italian restaurant since I can prepare the staple Italian dishes as good as lot of  restaurants (if I don’t say so myself). I can’t even imagine how Mario Batali would feel.
As far as I was concerned, I wasn’t here for the food. Sound crazy? Not really, when you consider I bought the Rao’s cookbook about 13 years ago and knew what to expect since over that time I prepared many of their dishes at home. This included…as a little aside…the unique task of removing the core, as Rao’s does, from every canned tomato prior to cooking.
I was here because of the mystique…plain and simple.
Upon entry, we gravitated (literally) to the canopied bar where we could see the entire restaurant in view was decorated with a perpetual Christmas and holiday motif, which only added to the sense of celebration.
We met Nicky the bartender…ie.”Nicky Vest”…probably because of his one of a kind vests he always wears…and decided on a nice Tuscan bottle of 2007 Antinori Pepoli Chianti Classico as we waited for our hosts to arrive.

                                                                        Nicky ‘Vest’

Not until Roy walked in did Sandy and I realize we were sitting and talking to Joey ‘Meat’ at the bar. A pleasant surprise.
My curiosity pulled me to the kitchen entryway and was again pleasantly greeted by two of the chefs (one chef and one chefess) and a couple of the waiters, who were quite accommodating as they posed for pictures.

                                                             Chef, Cheffess May & Bert

                                                         Smiling Chef, Chefess May, & Waiters


Joey and Roy


                                                           Joey, Roy, Sandy and Bert

                                                                     Photo Gallery

                                                                    Photo Gallery

As we were seated, the bruschetta hit the table and the maitre’d and captain all in one came over…pulled up a chair…sat down…and with a cordial smile started describing all the dishes off an unwritten menu. In just a few minutes, the order for their famous cold seafood salad, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella caprese’ and baked clams was served.

                                                      Cold Seafood Salad Topped With Fresh Lobster

                                                Fresh Tomato & Mozzarella Caprese’

Later came the linguine with white clam sauce and a touch of tomato (some may call it red clam sauce) with big beautiful clams, veal parmigiana, shrimp scampi, meatballs, sauteed escarole,and penne marinara (made with certified San Marzano Italian tomatoes and, oh yes, De Cecco pasta). Sooooo much…and sooooo good!
Each of these orders was shared by the four of us and each were fabulous by most folks definition of the word! My personal favorites were the cold seafood salad topped with lobster, the shrimp scampi and the linguine with clam sauce and clams. 

                                              White Clam Sauce with Tomato & Big Fat Juicy Clams

                                                               Veal Parmigiana

                                                                        Shrimp Scampi


                                                                    Penne Marinara

For dessert, we had raspberry sorbet…Roy’s favorite,the best Italian cheesecake you will
ever taste…and coffee.
By the way, if you are ever fortunate enough to get the call to come to Rao’s…don’t worry about parking. It’s free just across the street on the street. How’s that for accommodation?
Roy … thanks for celebrating with me and Sandy on my birthday…and thanks for the past and future memories! Joey…Along with Roy, thank you for a truly unforgettable experience.
We sincerely hope your new B Free hangers work as well for you as this evening worked for us.

                                                            Mangia Baby,

          Rao’s on the corner of East 114th Street & Pleasant Avenue in East Harlem, New York


12 thoughts on "R A O' S !"

Anonymous says:

Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this website, as i want enjoyment, as this this web site conations truly
nice funny data too.
My page: FinderHostel.com

Anonymous says:

What's up to every one, the contents existing at this website are really remarkable for people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.
My web page > friv games

Anonymous says:

Malaysia & Singapore & brunei ultimate on-line blogshop for wholesale & quantity korean accessories, accessories, earstuds, pendant,
rings, bracelet, hair & trinket accessories. Promotion 35 % wholesale discount. Ship Worldwide
Also visit my webpage : music marketing

Anonymous says:

Link exchange is nothing else but it is simply placing the other person's web site link on your page at proper place and other person will also do similar in support of you.
Also visit my site :: especialista en Ecommerce

Anonymous says:

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home
a little bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog.
An excellent read. I'll certainly be back.
Also see my webpage :: click the up coming web page

Anonymous says:

Right now it seems like Movable Type is the best
blogging platform out there right now. (from what I've read) Is that what you're using on your

Also visit my webpage: BMW Z4 Windscreen
My websiteBMW Z4 Windscreen

Anonymous says:

Awesome! Its in fact awesome post, I have got much clear
idea concerning from this piece of writing.

Also visit my blog :: hakukonemarkkinointi

Anonymous says:

It's difficult to find educated people about this topic, but you seem like you know what you're talking about!

Feel free to visit my web blog … ironmaster adjustable dumbbells
Also see my page > used adjustable dumbbells

Anonymous says:

Hey there! I just want to give you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you have got here on this post.
I'll be coming back to your site for more soon.

my site :: "Polynices"

Anonymous says:

Mу namе's Vernon from Trent, Australia and I just wanted to tell you your article is quite entertaining. The readability of your post is quite good and I can presume you are an pro on this subject. With your permission, would you let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with future articles? Thanks a million and please carry on the nice work.

Here is my webpage … 16997

Anonymous says:

It's a relief that I was able to come across blogger.com: it has the info I was actually hunting for. It’s astonishingly useful and you’re obviously highly knowledgeable in this field. Thanks to your wealth of information, I've learned а whοle lot more about thе subject
and ωill bе cοming back fοr morе.

Feel frеe to surf to my ωeb blοg; modded xbox 360 controllershttp://www.scufgaming.com/us/

Anonymous says:

hey there and thank you for your info – I've definitely picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical points using this web site, as I experienced to reload the site many times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and can damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of your respective exciting content. Ensure that you update this again very soon.

Check out my web-site – nude teen girl

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *