I don’t know their secrets or their formula but for some reason every single Lettuce Entertain You restaurant (LEY) I have dined in has been great. Literally every one, and most of the time I don’t even realize until much later that it’s a LEY restaurant, so it’s not some mental thing. I’m genuinely impressed with their roster. The latest one has a bit of star power behind it. RPM Italian (52 West Illinois) comes from a group (RJ, Molly and Jerrod Melman, Doug Psaltis) that includes businessman and NBC’S Apprentice alum Bill Rancic and his wife, E! Network Star Giuliana Rancic. But you can’t eat star power, so let me get to the food.
RPM features modern Italian cuisine that definitely pays homage to the classic fare. The menu is impressive in the way that it’s sophisticated without being stuffy or overly fancy. The menu features cold and hot antipasti, small bites, crudo, imported cheeses and more. There are more than a dozen pastas on the menu that are all prepared in-house, including Mama DePandi’s Bucatini Pomodoro, Duck Agnolotti with Black Mission Figs and Maine Lobster Ravioli and much more. You can also enjoy inventive salads and heartier dishes like prime steaks and chops. Wash it all down with one of the incredible cocktails designed by acclaimed bartender Paul McGee, who serves as the director of cocktail development for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. The space is beautifully slick and modern and there are four private spaces that can accommodate groups sized from eight to fifty. I give the restaurant high praise, but you have to check out the space and food yourself to see if we share the same tastes. You can learn more by visiting their website at www.rpmitalian.com.