Rao's is, without question, the hardest reservation in town. Red sauce mecca or not, with its ten tables all controlled -- yes, controlled -- by players like Woody Allen,
EATER, and Bill Clinton, there really should be no confusion as to why this is the case. When the Times tried to review the place, they sat at the bar.
So, if you have accepted the harsh reality that it isn't ever going to happen for you at Rao's, and you're not ready to move uptown (or pretend that you want to move uptown), perhaps a Learning Annex class hosted by Mr. Frank Pelligrino himself is the next best thing.
Unless you want to give this number a try. It's not the one generally listed. (212) 534-9625. Ask for Frankie Jr.
·An Evening At Rao's [Learning Annex]