When it comes to fashion these days, there are no rules. And I love that. So when I waltzed into the brand-new RPM Italian Restaurant with 5 of my closest girlfriends, I was pleased to see they weren’t playing by any rules either. The decor was a deliberate contrast of stark white and jet black with hints of dark grey, not typical of any Chicago Italian eateries. Another stray from the rulebook is the menu organized to encourage lots of tasting, so do so because the dishes are small and easy to share (not large classic family-style portions). You will want to have a bite of everything…trust!
After hearing RPM was opening, I was confident every detail would be done right with this crew taking care of business: the first, and our favorite, Apprentice winner, Bill Rancic; his Italian E! news anchor wife, Giuliana; Chef Doug Psaltis; R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman; and last, but definitely not least, Mama DePandi’s two cents in the kitchen.
Giuliana hones her fashionista skills on E!’s Fashion Police, so as fellow fashionistas, check out the one-of-kind and very chic attire, including white tuxedo jackets, on the most attractive waitstaff I’ve seen in this city.
Sidenote: Our waiter was charming, knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor which enhanced the enjoyable evening of drinking and eating well with fantastic company. He emphatically stated 18% gratuity was included and this was also printed in bold on our receipt. Just a sign that they don’t want to gip anyone out of anything. The experience was deserving of a fantastic tip, so we just felt it was rare it was emphasized.
Now to the food….Honestly, everything was amazing, but I will note our favorites and what will likely be savored by the whole table regardless of taste bud preference.
Our appetizers were eaten and half eaten before I could even snap a photo! The truffled garlic bread is a great starter, but is very light on the truffle oil (maybe ask for a little extra). The meatballs were divine and were eaten in seconds. The Zucchini Fritti (no photo) were also heavenly. They are lightly fried and I’m dying to get my hands on the recipe for the whipped mascarpone used for dipping. Giuliana’s Italian Salad (no photo) was typical, nothing extraordinary. If you prefer to have a salad before your meal, I would recommend it though.
The pastas are as good as you can get and all are freshly made in-house…Each comes down to preference as each has flavors that have geniusly been combined. My favorite was the Short Rib Pappardelle, but all 6 of us had a different #1. Also, I enjoy spice and did not think the King Crab had much of a kick to it at all.
Per our waiter’s very high recommendations, we went with the Grilled Prawns and the Pork Chop. One friend was literally scraping every last bit off the pork chop bone (I swear, we are ladies) and the prawns wowed us in presentation and tasted deliciously simple as it’s prep is with just a few high-quality ingredients.
After feasting on the delectable fare above, we were debating dessert, but then out came 5 desserts (our waiter knew we were celebrating a birthday hence the ice cream cones with a candle)!
By far, my favorite two were the Chocolate Hazelnut Tartufo and the Rice Pudding Gelato…Please save room for both when you dine.
Book a reservation soon as they fill up fast! Buon appetito!
In good taste,