Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rao's, Las Vegas

I know I have said that when I travel I prefer to go to places that I can’t when I’m home. Rao’s NYC might be the toughest reservation on the planet; Rao’s Las Vegas is much easier. It’s the same family who owns it and not a private equity or franchise like some other big name ‘chains’, from what I understand. When we checked in with the hostess, she did give me advice on how to get into NYC and I will let you know if it works.  Rao’s is an old school, family style Italian restaurant. Keep that in mind when ordering or you’ll end up with left overs for days, or so full you may explode. Many of the pastas and salads can be halved (which isn’t noted on the menu).
We started with a roasted beet salad. It was your typical beet salad with arugula. Gramercy Guy and I disagree though; I think the beets were from a can and not roasted in house. 

One of my favorite dishes ever is chicken scarpiello or sometimes called country chicken. It’s chicken on the bone with sweet and spicy sausage and onions and peppers. I get it often when I see on a menu. The Rao’s version is exceptional.  I don’t even need to look at the menu, I know I will always get this.

We did try a new pasta this time, the ravioli purses which had pear and ricotta in a butter and sage sauce with dried cranberries. They were really, really good. Happy we only got a ½ order because otherwise, I wouldn’t have eaten my chicken. They had a nice sweetness that I think in a strange way would work well as a dessert. How great would pasta for dessert be?

For dessert we got the profiteroles. They looked amazing and were huge, but I wasn’t impressed. Maybe it was my fault for getting a French dessert in an Italian restaurant, the puff pastry was chewy and there was way too much chocolate sauce which was cold. I like it when they drizzle warm, semi-sweet chocolate right on top so the chocolate and ice cream melt together. This dessert misstep will not stop me from going back to Rao's in the future.

Have you been to either Rao's? Can you get me into the NYC restaurant?

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