New York's 117-year-old granddaddy of mafia restaurants Rao's has named an executive chef for its Hollywood, Calif., sister location. Nicole Grimes, who is currently chef de cuisine at Rao's Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, will be helming the kitchen at their upcoming Hollywood location, slated to open late this summer.
According to a press release, Grimes will continue overseeing kitchen operations at Rao's Caesars Palace while training staff in Las Vegas before the Hollywood opening. Grimes, who was recently a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation's "Rising Star Chef of the Year," will work with Rao's New York executive chef Dino Gatto for the opening.
The New York branch of Rao's, long known as the restaurant that inspired Goodfellas, first made it big when The New York Times restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton gave it a rave review in 1977. We expect to see Rao's Hollywood in the power lunch issue of the Hollywood Reporter in the near future.