Restaurant Review: RPM

A few weeks ago, Mer, KG, Al and I had reservations at RPM.  It took us weeks to get the reservation and we were all sooo excited.   For those of you who might not have heard of RPM, it is a new Italian restaurant in Chicago that is owned by the Melman’s (who own a lot of other Chicago restaurants), chef Doug Psaltis and Guiliana and Bill!  If anyone watches Guiliana and Bill on the Style Channel, then you probably already knew about the restaurant (and you know I don’t need to give you a last name either).

We have been excited for weeks not only because of the chance of a Guiliana and/or Bill sighting, but also because the restaurant has gotten great reviews and we were excited to see if it lived up to the hype.

Alex called and made a reservation and we had to make one about a month in advance.  We ended up getting a reservation for a Thursday night at 7:30 which is pretty good.  (I tried to make another reservation for this week because my parents were going to be in town and could only get 9:30 pm).

First, the decor is awesome–it is very hip and modern, but still comfortable and inviting.  The colors are muted and room is filled with mostly half circle booths–but not the awkward kind where you feel like you are sitting next to someone instead of across from them.  We sat at the back of the restaurant and had a great people watching view.   We didn’t actually walk into the bar area because our table was ready right away–but it looked pretty cool.  We saw a lot of girls walking in and out that were dressed WAY up, which let us know that the bar is clearly a trendy place to be right now.

We started with a bottle of Prosecco and ordered bread with homemade ricotta–the ricotta was sooo good, I could not stop eating it.

Next, we decided to order a couple of different appetizers.   We took awhile deciding what to choose because everything looked so good.  We ended up ordering the meatballs and the provolone stuffed peppers:


The meatballs were really good and the peppers were good too–but they just weren’t what any of us were expecting.  I think we expected bigger bell peppers that were stuffed and these were (obviously) small and really spicy!   They definitely were still good but just not what we originally had thought they would be.

I had a tough time deciding what to order for my entree.  Part of me felt that I should order Mama DePandi’s famous pasta but then so many of the other pasta’s looked good too.   Rough life.  First let me say that I normally am not a big pasta person–if you haven’t notice.  I never order it and almost never make it.  I don’t really know why, I think I just end up disappointed by pasta dishes a lot of the time because they aren’t as good as I expect them to be.  Not the case here.  I tried all 3 different dishes and they were all SO delicious.  Some of the best pasta that I have ever had.  And in case you were wondering what the best pasta I have ever had is, it would be when studying abroad in Australia and our friend Joshua made my friends Natalie and Katie and myself dinner using fresh pasta from a place that was right down the street from us.   I honestly cannot remember why he was making us dinner–either he was just nice or he lost a bet or something.

I ended up ordering the Strozzapreti which was made with an arugula and pignoli pesto.  Kristen got this too and we both loved it.

We could definitely taste the bitterness of the arugula–but just a little bit.  It was offset with the olive oil and creamy/cheesy flavor and I ate every last bite!

Alex ended up ordering Mama DePandi’s pasta which I tried a bit of and it was really good–I can see why it is a classic and favorite at the restaurant

Last but not least, Meredith got the Short Rib Pappardelle which was a bolognese sauce with pecorino and rosemary.  I also tried this dish and it really blew me away.  I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did because it isn’t a dish I would normally gravitate to, but the combination of flavors really worked well together and the short ribs were super flavorful.

Instead of dessert, we had a second bottle of wine!  We did creep on a guy at another table though and noticed he had a chocolate cake dessert that looked really rich and chocolatey.  Maybe next time.

When our bill came, we were all shocked to see that the bill was only around 40 bucks each!  For 2 bottles of wine, a bunch of appetizers and our own entrees, that was way less than we were expecting.

As much as this restaurant has been talked up in the past few months, after eating here I would say it is worth the hype.  The decor and atmosphere are inviting and fun, the food is very VERY good and the prices are a steal.  I definitely have a few dishes that I still want to try and will have to go back soon.

Anyone else as big of fan’s of Guiliana and Bill as we are?  I was pretty bummed we didn’t see them.  Alex and I even tried tweeting Guiliana to see if she would be there but she didn’t answer :( .

Are you a pasta fan?  What is the best pasta you have ever had? 


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One Response to Restaurant Review: RPM

  1. Jean

    Just saw the episode where they were at the restaurant deciding on the menu. So funny it’s on your blog when I looked today! Next time I visit I will try to get in here. Thanks!

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