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Rao's Restaurant

Undoubtedly the hardest reservation in New York -- and as much urban legend as proper, modern restaurant -- Rao's sits on the easternmost edge of an anomalous sliver of Little Italy in East Harlem (Patsy's pizzeria is several blocks away), and turns out what acolytes insist is the best red sauce to be found this side of heaven. Problem is, not many get to actually eat here; though Rao's has gotten appreciably less exclusive over the last decade or so, it still functions essentially as an invite-only...

Undoubtedly the hardest reservation in New York -- and as much urban legend as proper, modern restaurant -- Rao's sits on the easternmost edge of an anomalous sliver of Little Italy in East Harlem (Patsy's pizzeria is several blocks away), and turns out what acolytes insist is the best red sauce to be found this side of heaven. Problem is, not many get to actually eat here; though Rao's has gotten appreciably less exclusive over the last decade or so, it still functions essentially as an invite-only supper club, where six or seven of the intimate dining room's eight tables are permanently "spoken for." The euphemism is apt: many Rao's regulars are local -- and not so local -- wiseguys, and in 2003 a high-profile hit was carried out at the place. Those who have been praise wildly the decor -- a quirky living room aesthetic -- and the experience, which the owners have done their best to recreate, brick by brick, stool by stool, in a Rao's satellite inside Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

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Address:
455 East 114th St.
New York City, NY 10029
Directions:
Hours:
Monday – Friday: Dinner Only, Saturday and Sunday: Closed
Admission:
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Stories in the spotlight: Rao's Restaurant

Carla and Frankie Pellegrino give you an insider's look at Rao's.

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Inside Rao's
May 25, 2011

For most people, getting a seat at one of the uber-exclusive tables at Rao's is an opportunity not...

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Getting Whacked at Rao's
December 5, 2009
Travelgoaters at Rao's Restaurant
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masmith
September 21, 2010
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