Ate at Rao's last night for the first time and the food was terrific. I had actually been prepared for so-so food, but each dish was really good and very flavorful. First came bean and escarole soup that was so tasty I forced myself to eat the whole bowl, even though I knew I was in for a lot of food. Great flavors but also the escarole had some substance to it, not completely wilted. Next came a great pasta with red sauce and the famous meatballs. The meatballs lived up to their reputation: they were incredibly tender and delicious. At this point we were stuffed, however out came shrimp parmigana and chicken scarpiarella with the most delicious sausages. I ate as much of the chicken dish as I could, but was practically in a stupor by the time the meal was over. Not a big night for celebrities, but it is definitely a cool place. Do not pass up an opportunity to eat here.