New York City operates at its own fantastic speed. It’s a global melting pot of people from every corner of the globe. It’s also a nexus of art, finance, fashion, entertainment, media and of course, food. It’s pretty safe to take a wild guess and state that no other city in the world has a higher density of restaurants, diners, pizza shacks and casual eateries than NYC. If you’re a foodie, then this is heaven for you. However, when you narrow things down to the expensive tier of fine luxury dining, the partitions become more defined. There are a handful of elite restaurants in NYC that even high income individuals with the deepest pockets have problems getting into. The demand for these rarified restaurants is so high that sometimes scoring a reservation means having your name on a waiting list for several months. It may all sound a little unreal, but as we mentioned earlier, everything in NYC is larger than life. Here are six of the most exclusive dining establishments in NYC.
Rao’s is a slice of old school New York City. It’s a highly respected Italian restaurant located in Spanish Harlem that’s been around since 1896. Their cuisine is best described as authentic Italian, and it’s a strongly held belief that their red sauces might be the best you’d find anywhere in the world. Their large and fluffy meatballs and delicious ziti are also perennial favorites. So why is it so hard to get a table here? Well, as the restaurant started growing in popularity, the owners realized that their longtime regulars were finding it difficult to secure reservations. So to remedy this, the owners instituted a system in which these valued regulars always had first dibs on tables. For an outsider to get a reservation, he/she almost has to know somebody who knows somebody else that has a connection to one of these prime property tables. In effect, a table at Rao’s is similar to a time share situation, and this added exclusivity has only made the restaurant more popular. Reservations here may take at least a year, so be prepared to be very, very patient.
Interesting tidbit: In 2009, Jay-Z proved that he’s indeed an elder statesman of NYC by filming his 2009 video for the song “Death of Auto-tune” at Rao’s.
Located at 455 E114th St, East Harlem