Miami is about to welcome an iconic culinary establishment this fall – Rao’s. Known as a meatball mecca, Rao’s has gained a reputation for being nearly impossible to get into due to its exclusivity. However, the tables are turning as Rao’s prepares to open its doors in South Florida. Located in the former Lure Fishbar space in the historic St. Moritz tower, adjacent to the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Rao’s Miami is set to become the new VIP red sauce spot in town.
Under the ownership of Frank Pellegrino Jr. and Ron Straci, Rao’s Miami is scheduled to launch either in late October or the beginning of November. With the move to Miami, their rival restaurant, Carbone, should be on high alert. Despite being a replica of the original East Harlem location, Rao’s Miami will have a larger space, allowing them to accommodate reservations instead of solely relying on serving their elite regulars.
A Star-Studded Affair
The anticipation for Rao’s Miami is palpable among not only loyal patrons of the restaurant but also Miami’s power players. The upcoming outpost has already caught the attention of celebrity bail bondsman Ira Judelson, who recently dined at the NYC location with “Entourage” star Kevin Dillon. In fact, Dillon is interested in turning Judelson’s life into a movie, sparking conversations about a potential “Entourage” reboot at a nearby table, where Endeavor boss Ari Emanuel was spotted. It’s worth noting that Emanuel himself served as the inspiration for the show’s outrageous agent character, Ari Gold.
Rao’s Beyond the Big Apple
Rao’s is not limited to its original East Harlem location and the soon-to-open Miami outpost. The brand has also made its mark in Los Angeles, providing fans on the West Coast with their signature meatball experience. Additionally, Rao’s has partnered with the private aviation company Wheels Up for special pop-ups at the Super Bowl. These exclusive events have attracted famous diners such as CC Sabathia, Michael Strahan, Reggie Bush, Anthony Anderson, Tiki Barber, Ciara, and Russell Wilson.
Rao’s has not only mastered the art of creating mouthwatering meatballs but has also found success in the business world. The brand’s line of packaged sauces recently caught the attention of Campbell Soup, resulting in a staggering acquisition deal worth over $2.3 billion. This highlights the widespread appeal and demand for Rao’s products, solidifying their position as a dominant player in the food industry.
The arrival of Rao’s in Miami is generating excitement and anticipation within the culinary scene. As the restaurant prepares to open its doors in the historic St. Moritz tower, locals and celebrities alike are eagerly awaiting the chance to sample their renowned meatballs. With its larger space and the ability to accept reservations, Rao’s Miami aims to provide an inclusive and exceptional dining experience for all. As the empire expands beyond its original location, one thing remains clear – Rao’s is no longer just a New York institution; it has firmly established itself as a meatball mecca with a global reach.