A week after their opening, RPM seems to be moving in the right direction. The newest addition to the Lettuce Entertain You family, RPM is the combined effort of Bill and Giuliana Rancic (R), Doug Psaltis (P), and RJ, Jerrod and Molly Melman (M). RPM.
Interesting fact: I wrote about Levy Restaurants’ newest spot Bar Toma last month. An ode to Italy, if you will. Here we are a month later, with the Lettuce group showing off their “Piazan” side. Guess I’m not the only one that loves this cuisine, right?
Meeting with the ‘Thursday Night Girls Group,’ a few of us went early to enjoy a glass of wine at the bar, which takes up more than half of the old Ben Pao space. From the outside, it’s very nondescript, looking almost dark. Inside, white walls and black ceilings play well together, creating a modern minimalistic décor and an overall comforting environment.
We love Italian and this menu was very approachable and great for sharing. Because we’re a group of 8 that wanted to try a little bit of everything, we enjoyed a few of the ‘primi’ (fresh ricotta, charred pepperoni pizza, zucchini fritti, prime beef meatballs), salads (RPM Caesar wedge, arugula, shaved artichoke) and homemade pastas. The table favorite for pasta was a cacio e pepe that was such a simple combination of olive oil, cheese, pepper and lemon, but packed such a tasty punch. Naturally, we had to try “Mama DePandi’s Bugatini Pomadoro” as well, and felt like we could come back for ‘comfort food.’ We did not make it to the entrée section at all, but I did happen to see their spaghetti and meatballs walk by, with the meatball the size of a small child’s head! This group normally skips dessert, but we were sold on the homemade gelato (coconut, pistachio and rice pudding), giant tartufo, and my personal favorite, roasted black mission figs, crushed amaretti cookies and mascarpone crema. We devoured it all, without any guilt.
As this is the newest Chicago hot spot, finding a reservation outside of 4:30 or 9:30 (even with the assistance of a concierge) will be tough, an ‘in’ would be grabbing a seat in the bar area, where you may also order off the menu. I hear the “VIP” table is one of the round banquets in the back/center of the room that you need to pass by before heading into the main dining room. Keep an eye out for Bill & Giuliana at this spot anytime they’re in Chicago. So, does that mean Trump is “fired”?
Amber Tillett & Monika Lotter – Chicago
When we decided to launch Flight Chicago, a backstage-pass tour of Chicago’s hottest restaurants, we went from casual food lovers to professionals. With yin and yang backgrounds and viewpoints, we like to think of ourselves as one whole enchilada. Monika was born and raised in Chicago, Amber came here from North Carolina. Together, we’re able to look at the Illinois food culture as both a native and a visitor. We love dressing up to hit the glittery new downtown spots, but also get a thrill biking to remote mofongo stands in way-west Humboldt Park. We’re all over the place, and we can’t wait to take you with us.