Rao’s is a 114-year-old Italian restaurant in Harlem that’s so popular it’s impossible to get a reservation, However, if you can get a table, you won’t be disappointed.
The secret to Rao’s success has been passed from one generation to the next, but it really isn’t a secret. Anyone who visits this iconic establishment knows that, with the help of your server, you’ll find that along with good food, the most important ingredients to your dining experience include friends and family.
Along with fantastic authentic Italian food, this historic restaurant features a full bar and is an ideal spot for people watching.
It’s a great way to experience Rao’s even if you can’t get a table. There’s even a chance, that if you sit at the bar for a few drinks, a table could open up.
No Real Menu but Plenty of Dishes to Enjoy
Rao’s doesn’t have an official menu, but servers tell their guests what’s being served. Among the dishes, diners will find something for every palate.
Seafood choices range from something lighter like a fresh, tasty seafood salad, to baked mussels made with a crust on top, to the mussels, clams, pasta with broccoli rabe served with sausage and lamb chops.
If you’re in the mood for poultry, Rao’s signature lemon chicken is served with crunchy broiled skin served with a tart lemon sauce.
For the traditional-minded, dishes like the pene and meatballs, mozzarella in Carroza paired with crispy bread topped with melted mozzarella in tasty tomato sauce, or spaghetti with white clam sauce are favorites.
Pork lovers will want to try the pork with sweet peppers.
Once you finish dinner, there are a number of dessert selections including several kinds of ice cream with several unusual flavors and delicious cheesecake that melts in your mouth.
While it is hard to get a table at Rao’s in Harlem, today, the Rao’s dining experience can also be enjoyed in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, too. Along with delicious foods, the one thing guests will find across the board is friendly staff ready to make you feel at home.
If you’re in the area, it’s worth stopping in.
Photo credits: Famous Foodies