RPM Italian is one of those staple restaurants for Kevin and me that we love sharing with our friends and family. We’ve been for birthdays, date nights, Easter brunch, and most recently to celebrate our friend Jacki’s 30th birthday.
When RPM first opened in 2012, I’ll admit the main reason I wanted to dine here is because it was created by Bill and Giuliana Rancic who I had a slight obsession with at the time. I made sure to call in as soon as reservations were available and was able to snag a table within two weeks of the restaurant’s opening. What I didn’t expect was how much I was going to love the food at this place! As part of the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group, I should have known this place would be great and each time we visit, it never disappoints.
RPM Italian is an Italian small plates restaurant that is perfect for sharing with any type of group. This last time we went, we had two vegetarians in our party as well as one person eating gluten free. The great thing about all of Lettuce Entertain You’s restaurants is that they offer a separate gluten free menu so it takes all of the guess work out of what you can order.
We started our meal with a few of the antipasti options. First up was the Imported Burrata with pears, walnuts, and arugula. This was a great dish and I loved the pairing of the sweet fruit and peppery arugula with the cheese.
Next up was one of our favorite items on the menu: Provolone-Stuffed Peppers. These little peppers are a combination of sweet and spicy which make for the perfect bite. Kevin and I recreated those for a Christmas party a couple of years ago and they were a huge hit!
For the meat eaters at the table, we also ordered the 600-Day Prosciutto. Although I did not have any this time around, I have eaten this before and can tell you the prosciutto is some of the best I’ve had and just melts in your mouth.
Another item that is not to be missed are the Prime Beef Meatballs. Again, I did not eat any this time but can assure you from the many times I have had them that they are absolutely delicious and a must order!
For our next course, we ordered two of the salads. We went with Giuliana’s Italian Salad and the Heirloom Tomato Salad. I loved the Italian salad but the heirloom tomato salad was just ok in my opinion.
To round out our meal, we ordered several different options from the housemade pasta section of the menu. First up was Mama DePandi’s Bucatini which is one of my favorite pasta choices. The pomodoro sauce is so rich and flavorful and I love the al dente texture of the bucatini noodles.
We also ordered one of my favorite seasonal pastas: Pumpkin Agnoloti with biscotti, prosciutto, and capers. This is almost like a dessert pasta with the sweet pumpkin filling, but the saltiness of the prosciutto and capers help make it more of a savory dish.
We also decided to try the Parmesan Risotto with chanterelle mushrooms and chives which was my least favorite of the pasta dishes. It lacked flavor and didn’t really wow me like our other pastas.
Lastly, we ordered another one of our favorites, the Spicy King Crab which is normally served with a squid ink spaghetti that is phenomenal! Since Kevin is eating gluten free, they were able to substitute the spaghetti in this dish with gluten free fettuccine noodles which was great.
Since he wasn’t able to eat most of the pasta dishes, Kevin also ordered scallops which were served over a sweet corn puree that was fantastic! The scallops were cooked perfectly and paired deliciously with the puree.
At this point, we were all pretty much stuffed to capacity but the dessert at RPM is just as good as the main menu so we knew we had to order something. We went with one of our staples: Bill’s Chocolate Budino which is topped with salted caramel and cocoa nibs. This dessert is so rich and I love the combination of the sea salt with the chocolate and caramel.
We also tried one of the specials for that evening which were mini donuts with nutella and mascarpone dipping sauces. The donuts were light and fluffy, similar to a beignet!
Because we were celebrating a birthday, our waitress brought out a complimentary dessert which was a sampling of all of their gelato flavors. The coconut and rice pudding flavors were my favorites! Side note: if you order gelato normally as a dessert, you will get a huge, delicious softball sized scoop!
RPM Italian is one of my favorite Chicago restaurants and is not to be missed! It is the perfect place for a girls night out, date night, or a birthday/anniversary celebration. The atmosphere is very swanky with people dressed to the nines, but you will also see people in Bears attire so you can definitely come as you are. The food is fantastic and you may even spot a celebrity or two when you are there. The Rancics frequent here most times they are in town.
The team behind RPM Italian recently opened their newest venture, RPM Steak which is on my list of places to try.
RPM Italian is located at 52 W. Illinois in Chicago’s River North neighborhood