Monday, March 23, 2009

☞ EAT: Rao's in East Harlem

This historical East Harlem Italian restaurant, established 1896, is the original Waverly Inn, where regular folks cannot get a reservation. Apparently, the ten tables are held for a long list of locals who have regular meals there. Madonna was politely turned away, and Bill Clinton had to "borrow" a patron's table to get in. Like the Waverly Inn, one may be able to sneak a meal at the bar area if you arrive early enough. As displayed in the second photo, classic photos and posters line the walls alluding to early century Greenwich Village restaurants (once again, old school charm works every time in historic neighborhoods). Call for a reservations, but they seem to be booked a year in advance. For those who can't wait, there is an exact copy of the restaurant in Las Vegas that is easier to book, but dining at Rao's is distinctly New York when you are actually in Manhattan. Rao's is located at 455 E 114th St and Pleasant Avenue. Tel.(212) 722-6709

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