Rao's is a restaurant founded in 1896. Rao's is located at 455 East 114th Street, Italian Harlem, New York City. [ [http://www.raos.com/history.html History of Rao's] ]

The restaurant was started in 1896 by Charles Rao, who moved with his parents from Italy to the United States. He bought a small shop in Harlem, once a very large Italian community, and ran the restaurant until his death in 1909. Louis Rao took over the business. He was seen by many as a very suave man. He had his hair cut at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and wore many fancy suits. Current co-owner Frank Pellegrino describes those days as "the days of big Cadillacs and usually convertibles." In 1958, when Louis Rao had died, the convicted Lucchese crime family consigliere Vincent John Rao took over the family business. He was much more conservative in behavior and looks and refined the menu into a more simple Italian menu, with the help of "Aunt Jake." After Vincent Rao's death in 1999, it was taken over by Frank Pellegrino, Anna Pellegrino Rao's nephew, and Ronald Straci, another close relative. Anna Pellegrino-Rao refined the menu even more with the help of Vincent and she is the source of the menu's identity today.

It is a popular landmark in New York City because of its exclusivity and reputation in food.

On December 6, 2006, Rao's opened an outpost in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada. Two ten-table rooms duplicate the original Rao’s saloon. Additional seating is available in the feast area, as well as on an outdoor patio. [ [http://www.harrahs.com/casinos/caesars-palace/restaurants-dining/raos-detail.html Caesers Palace Rao's] ]

Rao's now sells products in gourmet markets and supermarkets. Products include pasta products and sauce as well as olive oil. [ [http://www.raos.com/ Rao's Specialty Foods, Inc. -Premium Pasta Sauces, Pasta, Oil, Vinegars, Marinades and Gifts ] ]

Rao's was the basis for "Raimondo's," a fictional restaurant featured as the site of a murder in the "Law & Order" episode "Everybody Loves Raimondo's." The owner of the fictional restaurant was played by actor Ray Abruzzo, who later co-starred with Pellegrino on "The Sopranos".

"Aunt Jake" was called "MamanJake" who was actually the mother of Louis, Joseph 2, and Vincent Rao. Vincent Rao, the consiglieri of the Lucchese crime family was NOT the Vincent Rao of Rao's. They were not even related. The one you are referring to was from a 112th street. Vincent of Rao's was from 114th Street. The two families were not even related!Also, after Charles died, Joseph Rao 1 took over Rao's. He was the Uncle of Louis, Joseph 1, and Vincent. When Joseph 1 died, Louis and Vincent took over the restaurant.

External links

* [http://www.raos.com/ Rao's Official Site]
* [http://www.soyouwanna.com/SITE/syws/raos/raos.html So you wanna get into Rao's?]
* [http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/crimelaw/features/n_9750/ Murder at Rao's]

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