The most difficult restaurant in the US to get reservations?
Frank Pelligrino, owner of Rao's, has a nickname: "Frankie No." You would have better luck getting invited to dinner at the White House than getting a proper reservation at this wiseguy Italian joint, and this is because tables at Rao’s are not so much reserved as controlled. They’re paid for an entire year in advance, so to speak, like season tickets, and just like you can’t sit in the owners’ box at Yankee Stadium via any sort of public market, you can't really get into Rao's either. A table for four at 8 p.m. every Tuesday, say, will cost you between $1,000 and $25,000 annually, depending on who you are — and that's just for the table, not including food. Some season ticket holders have been Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Bill Clinton. And Frankie Fingers. Of course, there are loose tables around, but those, too, are doled out via unlisted phone numbers, or perhaps you can score one if you know someone. But maybe you’re better off not knowing those kinds of people, capisce?
Hat tip Craig Newmark.