Showing posts with label FRANKIE NO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FRANKIE NO. Show all posts

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Can You Get Table at RAOS ? Frankie No Says "NO" !!!!!!

FRANKIE NO Says "NO" !!!



RAO'S the historic Spanish Harlem restaurant is as elusive and alluring as ever. It's still nearly impossible to secure a seat without serious connections — but Grub tracked down thirteen people who revealed their strategies for getting in and dished on their best nights (though a few of them were so concerned about revealing their secrets that they didn't want us to use their names).
Strategy 1: Don't Take No for an Answer
"I had a business partner who was this fastidious attorney who would never take no for an answer. In 1995, someone who works for us wanted to go there for dinner. My business partner called [co-owner] Frank [Pellegrino] 500 times. Finally he said, 'Oh my God, come in. I can't take it anymore.' My partner wore him down. That first time, we became friends with everyone there. Frankie Jr. bonded with me, for some reason, and we became good friends. I was very active in the restaurant business for a long time, and I think that helped as well.
I don't have a standing table. I think in the seventeen years I've been going, I've only had legit reservations three or four times. Every other time, I just go on a Monday night, sit at the bar, and hope to get seated. I text one of the main guys to let them know and ask them to seat me. I brought my wife there on our first date fourteen years ago. She was definitely impressed.
I once had a great encounter with Johnny 'Roastbeef' [a character actor best known for his small role in Goodfellas]. We were at the bar, and, all of a sudden, the theme from Cats comes on. Johnny put his glass down hard, and he said, 'Every time I hear this song, all I want to do is eat pussy.' Without missing a beat, the woman next to him, who was in her sixties, asked, 'Does anyone know where I can get the CD really quickly?' I started laughing, and the bartender said that I couldn't laugh. We didn't know if it was a joke. I've seen amazing things there. A guy who had just gotten out of the slammer after twenty years showed up to celebrate, wearing clothes from twenty years ago: a skintight black sleeveless shirt and tight jeans." —Anonymous
Strategy 2: Be Eddie Huang
"I went the first time with Zach Chodorow with his girl and some other girl. Zach has friends that have a standing table. In the winter, they go away, and I hit him up. It was cool. We had a good time. They definitely have the best meatballs in the city. You go for the environment. You walk in, you walk out, and there's no better entrance to a restaurant. I take a Town Car, whatever. You walk into a movie. 
The second time, it was my girl's birthday, and it was right after Hurricane Sandy. She's an Italian girl who lived in Harlem and had never gone, so I said, 'I gotta take you.' We went on November 4. I talked to Nicky the Vest at the bar, and he said he recognized me. I was like, 'You don't get many Chinese people in here?' He said, 'Why don't I get you a table?' Then Frank comes over and said, 'Welcome back. If I have a table available, do you want to sit down and have dinner?' Absolutely! We had dinner. It was the best birthday she ever had. You wish more people with that passion and that character were opening restaurants in New York.
But if you just want to just try the food, go to Vegas. That's where my first Rao's experience was, and I actually like Uncle Vincent's chicken and the on-the-bone veal Parmesan better there. You can just walk into the Vegas location: It's a twenty-minute wait, tops. You know how people say things just based on what sounds good? The fact of the matter is that the food is better in Vegas. But the Rao's in Harlem is a New York institution. The moment you see it, you know why. It's got that swag." —Eddie Huang, Baohaus chef and soon-to-be television star
Strategy 3: Shower the Pellegrino Family With Gifts
"I used to work for an Academy Award–winning actor. It opened up a lot of doors in New York, but it never got me a table at Rao's ... until the actor's executive assistant tracked down a member of the Pellegrino family and showered her with gifts: flowers, spa gift cards, and movie-premiere invitations. That's how I scored my first reservation. I took my best friend, who'd also been trying (and failing) to get a table for many years. We feasted like kings. After dessert, the bartender asked us if we wanted a final drink 'with Frank.' Of course we said yes to this. The drink was served, but we didn't touch it. We wanted to wait for Frank to join us, but an hour later, he still hadn't come by our table. Eventually, the other tables emptied out. Rao's was closing, and we realized that the drink wason Frank, not with him. Embarrassed, we quickly paid and departed.
More recently, I was able to get another reservation. A woman I knew was friends with Johnny 'Roastbeef.' Turns out knowing Mr. Roastbeef is a much better connection than any award-winning movie star because we landed the best table and had multiple drinks with Frank." —Anonymous