Why does everyone want a seat at Bo Dietl’s Thursday night table?

Rao’s has woven itself into the very fabric of New York’s narrative since its inception. Founded by Joshua Anthony Rao in 1896, this Harlem gem quickly became renowned for its clientele and authentic Italian fare.

Over time, Rao’s transcended its culinary reputation to emerge as one of the globe’s most exclusive dining establishments, where securing a reservation is a privilege reserved solely for those with personal connections. At the heart of this coveted culinary haven sits Table 1, owned every Thursday by retired NYPD detective and media personality, Bo Dietl.

Bo’s stewardship of Table 1, obtained in 1977 from then-owner Frank Pellegrino, spans an impressive 47 years. Throughout this tenure, the table has played host to a myriad of momentous occasions, serving as the backdrop for crucial business dealings and high-profile gatherings. Notably, Bo orchestrates auctions for reservations, annually raising substantial sums—often between 500k to 600k—for diverse charitable causes.

The coveted table has seen a revolving door of political figures, Hollywood stars, and executive tycoons such as Bill Gates, Denzel Washington, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Jack Welch, Warren Buffet, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Angelina Jolie (just to name a few!)

Last Thursday marked another remarkable night at Rao’s. Bo was joined by Andrew Murstein, President of Medallion Financial Corp; Chad Brown, Thoroughbred horse trainer; Ken Langone, financier of Home Depot founders; David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery; Dave Calhoun, CEO of Boeing and Bill Cowher, coach and sports analyst. Sharing the fantastic atmosphere alongside Bo was famous American writer and journalist, Gay Talese; famous photographer Neil Leiffer; comedian Anthony Rodia, David Fiszel of Honeycomb Asset Management; Steve Cohen, Hedge-fund manager and owner of the New York Mets, Bengal’s legend Boomer Esiason, Governor Andrew Cuomo, The Piano Man himself Billy Joel, and longtime friend of over 40 years, actor Tony Danza. 

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