They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but this meal was worth a thousand kept secrets! This was not something one should keep to themselves. This was a “shout it from the roof tops” experience, worthy of a kiss and tell!
So, from what I hear through the grapevine, the original Rao’s in NY City is like a mob joint with a standing reservation list. If your name is on the list you’re either very cool, rich, famous, infamous, or just plain well connected. Rumor has it, you can give your spot to someone if you’re not going that week, but anyone else trying to get a reservation “forget about it!” So getting a table at Rao’s in Las Vegas, while there to celebrate my niece Maxine’s 21st B-Day was awesome. The food ingested at Rao’s was by and far some of the best Italian food that has ever passed this girls lips. I was overwhelmed with the magnificent tastes, the old world ambiance and the service was impeccable. Did is say the food, OMG….
Earlier in the day I received an email from one of my dearest friends, who is a foodie and a half. My friend told me that if there was one place I had to go… Rao’s was it. I quickly responded that it was already set in stone.
Upon arriving at Rao’s, we all went to the bar, as we had a very large party and the table was still being set up. Everyone had cocktails ranging from my club soda, an excellent wine, to some really fine 18 year old McCallam Scotch Whiskey that was certainly not wasted on my family’s discerning palate.
The first course was a traditional Antipasto della Casa, with Proscuitto, roasted red bell pepper, a “caprese” done with gorgeous yellow tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, some olives, more cheeses and pepperoncini. Of course, there was a beautiful selection of breads already waiting for us. There were some flat crispy breads, some breads that tasted of parmesan, olive and sourdough bread and some herbed breads. The array, served with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, was phenomenal.
Then came the Fritto Misto de Mare, a fantastic selection of seafood atop some shredded fried zucchini, and the Vongole Oreganate (tender clams with a delicious oregano bread crumb mixture) broiled to perfection. We went on to have, Gnocchi Bolonese, Uncle Vincent’s Lemon Chicken, Vittelo alla Parmesan, which was actually sliced thinly right off the “veal chop” and Bistecca alla Pizziola. Each dish was just as incredible as the last and there were a few others that I didn’t even get the name of. One of those unidentified dishes was my favorite, a sweet and savory Tortellini, with pears and cranberries, that was out of this world!!! I’ll be investigating this one, because I simply must know the recipe, it was that delish!!! Speaking of which, Rao’s has a Cookbook, or if you want one of these recipes, I can post it for you!!!
It was more than a meal. It was an experience that I will not soon forget. I even asked for a menu as a souvenir for my dear friend who had earlier encouraged me to go to this wondrous place and to do this post. And now I know why. I enjoyed this dining experience immensely and will be reminded of this very special evening and why I was there every time I think about my niece Maxine’s 21st B-Day.
Molto bello!!! Now I truly must go to Rao’s in NY City, as it’s intrigue is calling my name. Anyone know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a wise guy? Send him to me, if he says “Who’s askin’?” tell him “Jen-Jen da Dish” sent cha!!!
Maxine, the Birthday Girl and her Uncle Bill
Maxine’s B-Day Party Vegas Baby!
© Jennifer Green Alger 2010