Talk about starting with a bang! RPM Italian is one of the most talked about restaurants in Downtown Chicago right now. There is buzz about celebrity sightings including Brian Urlacher and celebrity couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic – and it has only been open for a month! Naturally, I had to go see what it is all about.
Giuliana Rancic preparing drinks at RPM
Our server approached our table within the first two minutes after we had sat down. His attire was crisp and professional – a white blazer, white button-down shirt, black tie, and black pants. He made us feel welcome and excited to begin our meal. When it came time to start discussing food and drink options, he was able to answer all of our questions and gave several excellent recommendations. It was immediately apparent that he had a great knowledge of the menu and that he was confident answering all of our questions and making recommendations which is quite unexpected for a restaurant that just opened up. Great first impression!
We started with a generous portion of the 600-Day Aged Prosciutto. This was served on a marble serving platter and accompanied by four slices of fresh bread and three red peppers stuffed with provolone cheese cubes. Wow. The aged prosciutto was extremely flavorful and silky in texture. The fresh sliced bread added a great crunch and was a great vehicle to eat the prosciutto. The peppers stuffed with provolone added a fresh sweetness and a small amount of heat to the dish and complimented the richness of the prosciutto well. Great antipasti option overall..
Next we tried the Italian Salad. This was served in a large white bowl that was filled with several different kinds of lettuce, roasted red and yellow bell peppers, black olives, salami, pepperoncini, halved grape tomatoes, red onion, red cabbage, and shredded Parmesan cheese topped with a house-made Italian dressing. Excellent fresh flavors overall. The crunch of the lettuce, pepperoncinis, tomatoes, onions, and cabbage complimented the smooth roasted peppers, the tender salami, and the olives very well. All of the flavors worked well with each other and the dressing added a great sweetness to the dish. Great salad option.
Then we tried the mushroom risotto. This was served in a white bowl and topped with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese. The risotto was prepared perfectly with a slight al dente crunch. The earthy mushrooms permeated throughout the dish and paired very well with the richness of the Parmesan cheese and the freshness of the herbs. Excellent entrée selection overall.
We finished with the Hazelnut Tartufo – A large chocolate coated ball of hazelnut gelato topped with crushed hazelnuts on a large white dish. Wow! Great unique dessert option overall! The presentation was unique and playful. The taste of the chocolate shell paired with the hazelnut gelato was excellent. The cool smooth gelato paired very well with the crunch of the shell and the nuts. A very memorable and satisfying dish.
The overall pace of the meal was excellent. We had enough time to savor each course without feeling rushed and none of the courses overlapped each other which is always a concern with small plates tapas style dining. Each dish was presented and prepared very well. Overall, our server remained very attentive and aware throughout the meal and maintained the cleanliness and the order of the table well.
We would definitely return to RPM Italian! This restaurant is an excellent value. The food quality and presentation is excelling, and it is a fun, welcoming and elegant. Can’t wait to go back!
The Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown is within steps of RPM. Simply cross the street on Illinois and go West less than 1 block. RPM is visible upon exiting the hotel.