Dime a dozen, Italian eateries are. My husband and I allow ourselves to be dragged to one only a few times per year and under the strictest parameters: No pope room, honor system wine, all you can eat anything, or fake Nonni's anywhere. Wait, it gets stricter: Not only must the gnocchi be tender not mushy, but the staff must correctly pronounce it and our friends who recommend it must be able to make their own outstanding pasta dumplings. The chef must be willing to pull any seafood dish off the regular menu if the supply isn't ideal. And strictest still: 90% of the menu must not be something that you can whip up at home to simple deliciousness with EVOO, garlic, dry aged cheese, balsamic, tomato-anything and some fresh basil. Rao's rules. Look, there are many super unique and delicious M&P ristoranti in the top 25 metro US cities. This is a Vegas resort restaurant. Which don't often come close to rivaling the best authentic ethnic restaurants anywhere - from street markets in 3rd world cities to Manhattan. Rao's isn't the most innovative, but they sure aren't cheesy. In fact, I don't think cheese appeared on any one of the 6 courses we ordered. I would eat here again anyday and you should read my review for Capital Grille before you think I'm that easy. This place offers comparable white linen, dark wood ambience, superb and gracious service that is quick, knowledgable, cheerful, unpretentious but never ingratiating or oppressive. The booth fits 4 adults beautifully, my hubbie is a 6'5"" 235 lb. pro footballer and I'm 6' and athletic and we never felt cramped, nor did our friends. Who cares what others are wearing - that's so superficial. If you're looking then you'll notice that you are Las Vegas, land of the indebted obese white people on escapist vacations they can't afford. I've been to Italy, io parlo la lingua, lived in Manhattan. This is about eating great food for the value in Vegas and I'd eat anything on the Rao's menu again.
Pros: Delicious, discreet and comfortable ambience, superb service, good variety
Cons: The sommeliere could be more assertive in recommended pairings