The original Rao’s in New York City opened in 1896 and is one of the oldest family owned restaurants in the city. At Rao’s, a cheerful host welcomes you and leads the way to your table through a broad corridor with hundreds of celebrity photographs lining the walls. A big photo of Anna and Vincent Rao, the couple that made Rao’s famous in New York, hangs in front of the restaurant. At each visit, the Rao family wants it to feel as if yours is the only table in the room. Since it is a family-run business, a relative of the Pellegrino or Straci family is on the premises nearly all the time. That dedication, says Frank Pellegrino, is one of the biggest difference between Rao’s and other Italian restaurants.
You’re about to open the menu when a friendly server pulls up a chair and plops down, telling you that the Rao’s tradition has been around for more than a century. The server will tell you about a couple of their favorite dishes from the high-quality ingredients, such as house-roasted red peppers, freshly grated Pecorino-Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses, Felipo Berio olive oil and certified San Marzano plum tomatoes imported from Italy.
The desserts, such as the light ricotta cheesecake, tiramisu and an apple tart in a flaky, buttery pastry will leave those with a sweet tooth fully satisfied.
Some of Rao’s amenities are worth checking out. A 14-seat private dining room is available and recent visitors included celebrities Mariah Carey, New Kids on the and Block and Bette Midler. There is also the patio with views of the Caesars Palace pool and a bocce ball court.
3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV, 89109