Harlem’s iconic restaurant Rao’s is keeping athletes, A-listers and those lucky enough to score a seat well-fed ahead of the 2023 Super Bowl in Phoenix.
For the fifth year in a row, Rao’s partnered with private aviation company Wheels Up to bring VIPs five nights of dinners leading up to the big game.
Guests, which thus far have included CC Sabathia, Michael Strahan, Reggie Bush, Trevor Lawrence, Anthony Anderson, Ciara and Russell Wilson, dined on the NYC restaurant’s famous meatballs cooked up by executive chef Dino Gatto.
The four-course menu also included fritto misto, penne vodka, shrimp fra diavolo, porterhouse steak, eggplant and chicken parmesan and ended with cheesecake cannoli and Cincoro-infused truffles.
Unlike last year when they held the events at the restaurants’ Los Angeles location, Rao’s took over steakhouse Frashers Tavern in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. We’re told they redecorated the entire joint but retained the restaurant’s wait staff, who were comfortably outfitted with Rao’s tees and custom Air Jordans. We hear they were allowed to keep each item.
Later in the evening on Friday, Wheels Up founder Kenny Dichter took the mic and thanked guests for attending the soirée.
“People always ask us what meatballs and private aviation have in common and I would just say it’s the values we share and the way we treat our people,” he said before the crowd toasted with shots of Cincoro.
Spies also spotted Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott sharing a sweet moment with his former coach Jason Garrett.
Joe Montana, Sean Payton, Rachel Lindsay, JJ Watt, Jesse Palmer, Cooper Manning, Davante Adams, Bobby Wagner, Sterling Shepard, Pat Perez, Keegan Bradley, Cam Jordan, Andrew Whitworth, Scott Van Pelt, Adam Schefter, Kirk Herbstreit, Ron Berkowitz and Mike Tannenbaum were among the guests at the multi-night event.
Meanwhile, we hear Eli and Peyton Manning are set to attend Saturday night’s dinner and may even get their hands dirty in the kitchen.
The Philadelphia Eagles will take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday in Super Bowl LVII.