Discover more from Broken Palate
Rao's Opens in Miami Beach
If you want to eat at the iconic restaurant, hopping a flight to Miami might be a good option
If you’ve unsuccessfully been trying to snag a reservation at Rao’s, the New York City restaurant famous for its veal parm and exclusivity, maybe your best bet is to “hop a flight to Miami Beach", as Billy Joel sang in his classic New York State of Mind.
Rao’s has officially opened at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel’s historic St. Moritz Tower, serving up a menu of red sauce classics like the restaurant’s famous meatballs and pastas, along with “Uncle Vincent’s lemon chicken and a host of new “Miamified” additions like a seafood tower and caviar service (because…..Miami).
And, because the opening of a restaurant in Miami Beach is as buzzy as a hive of angry bees, reservations won’t be easy to obtain for the next few weeks, at least. Resy, which handles reservations for the restaurant, suggests planning in advance (reservations open daily and are available for 90 days out). There’s also a “notify” button, if you’re open to a last-minute table. Resy will also charge a $50 reservation fee per guest for no-shows or last-minute cancellations.
If you’re in the neighborhood, why not just pop in? The restaurant will also accept walk-ins, if seats are available (unlike nearby Carbone, which frowns on that sort of behavior). Resy will also charge a $50 reservation fee per guest for no-shows or last-minute cancellations.
The iconic restaurant opened in East Harlem in 1896 and has been family-run ever since. Current owners Ron Straci and Frank Pellegrino Jr. are third- and fourth-generation descendants of Rao’s founder Joshua Anthony Rao.
On any given evening, the tiny dining room is filled with celebrities like Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, who get treated like family at this rouge-hued establishment.
In Miami Beach, the restaurant is much larger, but patrons who want a more intimate feel can ask to sit in the Rao’s Room. This 11-seat room is decorated with celebrity photos and has its own private bar.
In any event, the restaurant is yet another in a long line of New York restaurants that are having a great deal of success in transitioning from New York to Miami. This growing list includes Carbone, Harry’s, Cote, Hometown Barbecue, Red Rooster, Pastis, and more. Looks like more than ever, Miami is truly the “sixth borough” of New York City.