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Rao's Cookbook

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Anyone seen/used this book? Any impressions?

Also, has anyone out there actually eaten at this
place? I know the restaurant by reputation only. I've
heard it's pretty much impossible to get a reservation.

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    Christine Bridges

    How can you expect to eat at a place that only has,
    what, eleven tables and holds them all for the
    "regulars?" This isn't a restaurant, it's a private


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      Emilia Soroko

      My husband has made the marinara sauce from this book. It is the best I have ever tasted. His mother's side of the family is from Italy and are excellent cooks. The trick is to find San Marzano tomatoes. We use imported tomatoes when we cannot find the San Marzano. It is better with the San Marzano tomatoes.

      Martha Stewart did a feature on the restaurant last week. I would love to eat there!

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        sharon reilly

        Would it be at all possible to e-mail me the recipe for Rao's Shrimp Scampi. I had it last week and it was delicious. thank you

        1. This is the single best cookbook I've ever used. Recipes are simple and wonderful. Best marinara sauce anywhere only takes an hour. Meatballs are bravisimo.

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            Sarah Groshong

            I have never eaten in the restaurant, but their marinara sauce that costs about $10 a quart retail is the best I have ever had outside of Italy! I can't justify spending $40 for a cookbook just for one recipe, but I intend to copy it out of the next copy I can find at Barnes and Noble!

            1. I'll never get this 'best sauce' thing.
              Tomato sauces are fairly simple and there are very few secrets to it.
              Rao's enjoys this reputation they have simply because of the mystery; no one can get in there. If they did, we'd probably find that it's merely a good small Italian-American restaurant. Once when trying to nail down a Rao's reservation, I watched and smelled everything that came out of that kitchen for a good ten minutes and I didn't see anything 'amazing'- in fact, I didn't see anything that haven't seen growing up and eating in and around Italian Brooklyn.

              1 Reply
              1. re: broadway

                I know this thread is old, but I must say, I have eaten at Rao's twice and it was a profound eating experience both times. I don't know if Frankie still comes over to your table anymore, sits down with you and takes your order (or should I say - tells you what to eat) - but the food and the experience are still fresh in my mind, even though I was there over 6 or 7 years ago. Unfortunately (food wise) I now live in San Diego and miss Rao's and other great New York Italian restaurants alot!
                I have made practically everything in the cookbook and I am now in the process of buying a replacement for my old and very worn one.
                The meatballs are definitely the best and the roasted peppers are a must.

              2. Just opened in Vegas, saw the ads in the paper this week.

                I've made the sauce (fantastic), the lemon chicken (one of the best) and the meatballs (great). All are A-Listers. I usually buy six bottles of the marinara when it goes on sale for 599.

                Tomorrow i'm leafing through over b'fast and planning on something Rao's tomorrow night.

                1. I recently made the lasagne, and was very disappointed. The recipe calls for a LOT of water to be added to the sauce. It was just too soupy. Has anyone else made this recipe? I'm curious. I've had success with other recipes in the book.