Legendary Italian eatery Rao’s relocated to Atlanta for the Super Bowl to serve up three nights of pop-up dinners by executive chef Dino Gatto before the big game.
The intimate eatery was meticulously recreated — from its iconic red exterior, plus an adjacent East Harlem street scene on a video wall, to photos of its famous diners lining the walls inside the clubby space built for the occasion. VIPs seen supping on Thursday included Giants great and current “Kinky Boots” star Tiki Barber, former Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira and NFL legend Bernie Kosar.
The pop-up concept was hatched by Wheels Up founder Kenny Dichter, who first pitched Rao’s chief Frank Pellegrino Jr. last year on a pop-up for his jet company’s members at golf’s Masters tournament. “He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” joked Pellegrino of the idea. The collaboration was so successful, they’ve recreated it in Atlanta, and Dichter exclusively revealed to Page Six that there are already plans for a “Rao’s by the beach” next year when the Super Bowl hits Miami.
The man of the night, chef Gatto, was toasted as, “the Bill Belichick of meatballs” by Dichter and his co-founder Gary Spitalnick — as the eatery’s most iconic menu items were served.
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