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Las Vegas's Best Restaurants

Rao's

Courtesy of Caesars Palace

Rao’s

Rao’s 10 tables in Harlem are still the toughest booking in New York, 115 years on. And here it is in Caesars Palace, overflowing with marinara sauce and the whoops of wine-soaked celebrants. The Vegas outpost is four times larger than Manhattan’s, but it’s divided into separate dining rooms, each scaled like the original. There’s a warmth here that’s hard to quarrel with: soft-glowing sconces, burnished plank floors, the obligatory head shot. Waitstaff are prone to laughter; even the busboys slap your back. Rao’s inspires confidence. This is a place where, when they offer grated Parmesan, you say, “Yes,” and when they offer another bottle, you say, “Hell, yes.”

You say “Hell, yes” to a lot at Rao’s. To a zesty insalata di mare—calamari, shrimp, PEI mussels, lobster, and sweet crabmeat. To penne alla vodka and toothsome fiocchetti, stuffed with ricotta and pear, in a sage-butter-cranberry sauce.

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