photo credit: Courtesy Rao's
Rao’s Miami Beach
Rao’s is the toughest reservation in New York City because tables there are “owned” by regulars who rarely surrender them. The reservations at their Miami Beach location aren’t quite impossible, but it’s still pretty difficult to get in. The dining room feels like a classic New York City Italian spot, with a Rat Pack-y soundtrack, autographed photos of celebrities, and more green and red velvet than a Christmas tree skirt. Frank Sinatra plays as you eat Rao’s famous (and unspectacular) meatballs. The restaurant serves Italian-American food that tastes like it was made in someone's kitchen—not a professional kitchen. And while a few dishes like the seafood salad and fiocchetti with pears and ricotta stand out, you may get an overcooked steak too. If you just want to enjoy the atmosphere, say you’ve been, and shove it in all of your New York friends’ faces, keep an eye out for reservations. But you should probably wait until the restaurant’s gotten a bit more practice.