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#1 Daniel

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:08 PM

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Being a New Yorker, the name Raoís is like the white rhino of the New York Food scene. Itís New Yorkís most exclusive and most coveted reservation. You canít call Raoís and ask for a reservation. You are either invited, or can win a table through some charity auction. i have seen tables won in an auction for as much $10 k.

So, when I met a friend of mine from NY at Caesars, curiosity got the better of us. When we arrived I went to Caesarís concierge and asked if there were any tables available. I was told that they only had availability at 10 pm.

Despite being told this, we decided to try our luck at the restaurant. When we walked in, the place was empty. In this large restaurant there were perhaps 70 percent of the tables available. After we asked to be seated, we were abruptly told that the restaurant would be filling up shortly and that we should wait at the bar. After waiting for 20 minutes, no one had arrived. we asked again, and they reluctantly let us sit outside where most of the people were sitting.

I looked over the wine list and ordered an 06 Chianti Riserva. Moments later the wine steward came over and asked us if he could over the wine list with us. Instead of our 60 dollar bottle, he suggested a $150 dollar bottle of Brunello. Of course that is better option, as would a $1,000 dollar bottle be. He then showed me a different bottle for $120 dollars. This bottle that was ďa better suggestionĒ. Of course it is. I stuck to my guns and he walked away kind of unhappy. Moments later, he returns and our bottle just happens to not be available. I ordered a 70 dollar bottle of Chianti and he again offers to show me some better choices. Again I stick to my guns. I know wine, i know what I like. I was looking for a single varietal San Giovese. I was some people who are not wine people. i was not looking for a complex wine but, a light drinking table wine.

Out comes the waitress and selling continues. She suggests we essentially order the entire menu. What a novel idea. My friend does not mix milk and meat, my other friend does not eat this, i was fairly limited in what I ordered. Most of the pasta dishes had a combination of ham and cheese or just cheese. Obviously, not their issue. The menu read well. I wish i could have ordered some of the pasta dishes.

He had a salad, me and my other friend ordered the seafood salad and the clams.

Seafood salad was mostly calamari and octopus with small bits of lump crab, shrimp, and some lobster claw bits. It was decent. Nothing special.

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Clams were really over done. Very bready, they were over seasoned with dried oregano. A pretty blah version of an easy dish:

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Next came the pasta with garlic and oil. Pasta was cooked well, not much garlic but, just swimming in oil. It could have used toasted bread crumbs:

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We then all split the chicken with lemon and the veal chop with peppers. Veal chop was nice, I donít if 49 dollars was reasonable price. The chicken was a really scrawny gam hen. It was simply charred and spritzed with lemon. We asked them while ordering to add capers. this was nice touch. the chicken had a little wine added to the pan sauce. Not exciting.

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During our diner, perhaps 4 tables of 2 came into the restaurant. I still do not understand why they made us wait and would not let us eat inside the place. The entire time I felt a desperation in the staff to upsell. Our waiter was pushing dessert, drinks, it felt uncomfortable.

The food was no better than a touristy Italian restaurant in NYíS Little Italy or a local spot, prices were outrageous.

I have been seeing all over Las Vegas empty tables. The restaurants need to adapt and work on fostering the people they do have instead of alienating them and trying to milk them.

I can only assume the food in NYCís branch is a totally different experience.


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#2 Rich

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:50 PM

I can only assume the food in NYCís branch is a totally different experience.

No, it's the same.

#3 mitchells

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:08 PM

During our diner, perhaps 4 tables of 2 came into the restaurant. I still do not understand why they made us wait and would not let us eat inside the place. The entire time I felt a desperation in the staff to upsell. Our waiter was pushing dessert, drinks, it felt uncomfortable.


I spent a week in Las Vegas earlier this month I felt the upselling was rampant almost everywhere. At Prime at Bellagio they were putting the hard sell on Wagyu beef specials. How about a Lobster Tail and 6oz Filet for only $220? Or a 12 oz strip for the table to share for $175? And water upselling like crazy. A friend of mine got hit up for $48 in water charges at the Eiffel Tower Restarant at Paris. And the new lounge at Bellagio,Lily, claims they have no tap water so if you want a bourbon with a glass of water you will pay an additional $6 for a small bottle of Fiji. We asked how they make their ice and got a blank stare back from our very hot but confused waitress. Especially with clients, they put you in a very awkward position.

Which is why it is a pleasure to go to a place like Raku where instead of being upsold I needed to persuade our waitress that even though we ordered a ton of food and drinks we still wanted the foie gras and egg custard and one more sake flight!

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
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#4 splinky

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:14 PM

And the new lounge at Bellagio,Lily, claims they have no tap water so if you want a bourbon with a glass of water you will pay an additional $6 for a small bottle of Fiji. We asked how they make their ice and got a blank stare back from our very hot but confused waitress.

more importantly, without tap water, how do the staff wash their hands, as required by law?

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#5 Steve R.

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:28 PM


I can only assume the food in NYC’s branch is a totally different experience.

No, it's the same.


Rao's is not known for its food in NYC. It's known for being an exclusive club. Think of it like dining at the Harvard Club, but with a somewhat different clientele & more emphasis on doing business and being seen. The Vegas branch is meant to cash in on the name, as are the sauces on the market shelves. And I'm sure they're trying to develop the exclusivity there as well, even if it means staying mostly empty until they do. No offense, but having youse guys there doesn't help them with their goal (or image). And having $70 bottles visible on the table doesn't help them either. It's a place trying to imitate the parent establishment and they probably figured (wrongly, it seems) that the same base would flock to them and buy tables, obviating the need to let folks like you (or me) in the door.

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#6 Rich

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:55 PM



I can only assume the food in NYCís branch is a totally different experience.

No, it's the same.


Rao's is not known for its food in NYC. It's known for being an exclusive club. Think of it like dining at the Harvard Club, but with a somewhat different clientele & more emphasis on doing business and being seen. The Vegas branch is meant to cash in on the name, as are the sauces on the market shelves. And I'm sure they're trying to develop the exclusivity there as well, even if it means staying mostly empty until they do. No offense, but having youse guys there doesn't help them with their goal (or image). And having $70 bottles visible on the table doesn't help them either. It's a place trying to imitate the parent establishment and they probably figured (wrongly, it seems) that the same base would flock to them and buy tables, obviating the need to let folks like you (or me) in the door.

To this day what bothers me most is being stupid enough to go a second time. Though the guy who "watched my car" was amusing, he was rewarded handsomely. Pleasant Avenue wasn't a pleasant experience.

#7 Wilfrid

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:23 PM


I can only assume the food in NYC’s branch is a totally different experience.

No, it's the same.

But it has considerable historic charm which doesn't travel.

Is the theater district sibling still going?

#8 Daniel

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:45 PM

I think that placed closed..
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#9 Daniel

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:47 PM



I can only assume the food in NYC's branch is a totally different experience.

No, it's the same.


Rao's is not known for its food in NYC. It's known for being an exclusive club. Think of it like dining at the Harvard Club, but with a somewhat different clientele & more emphasis on doing business and being seen. The Vegas branch is meant to cash in on the name, as are the sauces on the market shelves. And I'm sure they're trying to develop the exclusivity there as well, even if it means staying mostly empty until they do. No offense, but having youse guys there doesn't help them with their goal (or image). And having $70 bottles visible on the table doesn't help them either. It's a place trying to imitate the parent establishment and they probably figured (wrongly, it seems) that the same base would flock to them and buy tables, obviating the need to let folks like you (or me) in the door.


Non taken though, I was with some seriously cool looking Israeli dudes who look and are pretty important (to me and their mother's for certain).. And we were all wearing suits. But, going by your assumption, why the hell would they stick us in the front of the restaurant where everyone could see us?

Also, they should most likely be more concerned with people seeing their browned and dried out clams over my 70 dollar bottle of wine.
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.