Rao’s

Rao’s and Shine

Harlem’s Legendary Italian, Hollywood-Style

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Mobsters. Cops. Meatballs.

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Step behind the historic red doors of Rao’s, the Hollywood incarnation of Harlem’s notorious 117-year-old Italian joint, finally opening tonight.

You’ve probably heard about the original—an old-school joint with only 10 tables, always booked with standing reservations. And filled with guys you wouldn’t want to steal a table from. That was even before the Times gave it a ’77 rave. Basically, nobody can ever get inside.

So welcome inside. There’s more room over here in Hollywood (and even a patio), but the vibe is familiar, with white linens, lots of mahogany and signed photos all over the walls. Settle into the wooden booth under the wall-mounted menu, the one LeRoy Neiman drew on—that’s the best spot to talk spec scripts and keep an eye on the door.

And see what’s coming out of the open kitchen—think legendary lemon chicken and Italian red-sauce classics like penne alla vodka and spaghetti Bolognese with three meats. Try and stay focused on the food, not what’s happening at the next table. Especially if they’re talking about a Godfather reboot starring Shia LaBeouf.

You know it’s only a matter of time.

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