It was a rare weekday afternoon that Rao’s East Harlem, a culinary national treasure, opened its doors for lunch.
Widely acclaimed for its authentic, southern Neapolitan Italian cooking, Rao’s believes that the most important ingredients in your dining experience are food, friends and family. So it was only fitting that they made an exception by hosting members of the Kids for Kids Foundation family for an event to raise funds to aid in expansion of the organization.
“This is a once in a lifetime experience to actually have lunch at Rao’s,” Robert Catalano, Kids for Kids co-founder, told the 50+ guests. “We sold out the event faster than we could ever imagine. We are blessed to have a great network of people who came out here today.”
Guests arrived at the restaurant, which is tucked in a corner block of East Harlem, on a sunny October Wednesday. Stepping inside was like traveling through time, as photos from decades of history lined the walls and Christmas lights and decorations were dotted throughout, despite the time of year.
This intimate setting was a combined fundraiser and outreach opportunity for Kids for Kids, in which those new to the organization had the chance to learn more about our mission.
Committee members and their friends enjoyed a four-course meal consisting of fresh mozzarella & tomatoes, roasted peppers, breaded clams, fresh pasta, Rao’s famous meatballs, broiled lemon chicken, garlic shrimp, and their infamous rainbow cookies for dessert. And, of course, plenty of wine.
“We’ve had lunches here before – they’re very sedate, they’re very quiet. You guys came in and it was overwhelming,” Susan Palercio, manager of Rao’s, joked to the crowd. “You guys do a lot – you give back and that’s beautiful. We were pleased to be able to be a part of this.”
She added “We hope everyone had a good time today – we had a wonderful time hosting them.”
And guests certainly did have a wonderful time.
“The food was amazing – what an incredible atmosphere,” said lunch guest William Van Scoyoc. “It was just a pleasure and honor to be here. I can die in peace now that I’ve been to Rao’s.”
Kids for Kids co-founder, Joseph Capone, agreed. “This was a fabulous event at Rao’s. If you’ve never been, you better get here next year because it’s a once in a lifetime event.”
Thank you to Susan Palercio and her wonderful team at Rao’s for providing this exclusive opportunity for the Kids for Kids Foundation.
The organization looks to host this event annually so stay tuned for details. And sign up below to “Get the Latest News” or contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest in future events.