Restaurants, Italian East Harlem
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Photograph: Tova Carlin

If you thought getting a table at Per Se was tough, try getting into Rao’s. On second thought, don’t. Rao’s (pronounced “RAY-ohs”) is really a private club without the dues. To eat here, you’ll need a personal invite from one of the heavy hitters who “owns” a table. CEOs, actors, politicians, news personalities and neighborhood old-timers have a long-standing arrangement with legendary owner Frankie “No” Pellegrino, and that's what ensures a seat at one of the ten tables. In fact, reading this review is probably the closest you’ll get to Rao’s.


Venue name: Rao’s
Address: 455 E 114th St
New York
Cross street: between Pleasant and 1st Aves
Opening hours: Mon–Fri, dinner by reservation only
Transport: Subway: 6 to 116th St
Price: Average main course: $20. Cash only
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