5 Things We Learned About RPM Italian

5 Things We Learned About RPM Italian

Zagat |
Jul 28, 2016

The DC offshoot of RPM Italian, brought about by reality-TV stars Bill and Giuliana Rancic, opened just under a month ago and is the first RPM concept outside of Chicago. Giuliana says that’s partly because she grew up in this area, but also because DC is a great city with a great dining scene. “We have a thousand lawyers upstairs. That doesn’t hurt, either,” Bill joked during a walk-through. The couple definitely went all in with this sparkly location, which will be able to serve around 400 diners when its three patios are up and running. If you haven’t made it in yet, here’s what you can expect to find when you do:

There’s an amaro bar
While these Italian digestivi have been gaining in popularity for a while now, you can really get up close and personal with up to 12 of the bitter after-dinner drinks by requesting a spot at the six-seat amaro bar. There, diners can take advantage of the  dedicated bartender on hand to give one-on-one attention to those lucky enough to snag a seat. You can pump your bartender for information on the flavor profile of Cynar versus that of Montenegro, ask for food-pairing suggestions or just sip and chill out. By the way, the full food menu is also available at the amaro bar, and the amari also pop up in cocktails.

The kitchen is very serious about pasta
General manager Juancarlo Parkhurst estimates that 40% of the kitchen staff is dedicated to making pasta, including five pasta-makers that arrive each morning to make the dough and shape it for the 10 pasta dishes on the menu, and four other kitchen folks who work the pasta station each evening. Extruded pastas, sheet pastas, dried pastas — you name it, they make it. Parkhurst also estimates that at least 60% of his diners order a pasta dish, with the spicy king crab spaghetti, lobster ravioli and Mama DePandi’s pomodoro flying out of the kitchen most frequently.

There are several DC-only dishes
Chef Gabe Thompson says he expects to infuse the DC menu with more seafood than is offered in Chicago. In fact, there’s a crudo section of the DC offerings that he says didn’t work for the Chicago market, which he pegs as “more of a meat town.” Currently, the crudo selections include a tuna carpaccio, a Mediterranean sea bass (aka branzino) and a veal and truffle tartare — all of which we’re guessing will play very well with the DC market. There’s also a cold bar unique to DC that serves oysters, tiger prawns, Alaskan king crab and lobster cocktail, as well as a decadent seafood platter that includes a crudo that changes daily. One additional dish just for DC is an Atlantic cod in corn brodo with clams and local blue crab.

Believe it or not, there’s a focus on value 
Bill Rancic told us he wants there to be a perception of value with customers, which is interesting because it seems as if the team is swinging for majorly high-end. “We want anyone to be able to come here, sit at the bar and have a glass of wine,” he said. Parkhurst says they work to achieve that by offering a wide range of prices, from a $5 order of ’nduja crostini to the $135 seafood platter. He also steers folks on a budget toward stick-to-your-ribs classics like the chicken or eggplant parm or spaghetti and meatballs, which he says are pretty shareable and filling. “So it really is up to the diner where they want to take the meal,” he says of the price point.

You can blow a mortgage payment (or two) on a bottle of wine
For all you high-rollers out there, the highest priced wine currently on RPM Italian’s list is a $5,500 bottle of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon. “It’s a very boutique and sought-after wine with very limited allocation,” says Parkhurst. For the rest of us, there are $10 wines by the glass and bottles priced in the mid-$50 range. And if you’re flummoxed by the 40-page wine list and a bottle inventory in the thousands, “we have somms on the floor every single evening, and they’re happy to steer you in any direction you want — and are very conscious of price,” Parkhurst adds.

Photos courtesy of RPM Italian
601 Massachusetts Ave. NW; 202-204-4480

Media Contact

Emily Clark pr@leye.com 773-878-7340

You May Also Like...

In The Restaurants
A Gift Guide for the Food Lover in Your Life
Jun 1, 2018

Whether a birthday, graduation or any other of the countless holidays, we're here to make selecting…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Unconventional Wine Regions of the World
May 24, 2018

Everyone loves a great Napa Cab or Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, but lately, our LEYE Wine…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch
May 11, 2018

For that one hour escape from your office, you want to make sure to make most of your lunch hour.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour
Apr 21, 2018

It's 5 o'clock somewhere! Here are all the happy hour deals at select Lettuce Entertain You…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Best Time of the Year: Patio Season
Apr 20, 2018

Warm weather is here, which means al fresco dining is too! We've rounded up the best patios at…

read more >
In The Restaurants
James Beard Eats Week 2018
Apr 17, 2018

James Beard Eats Week is back! From April 27-May 7 show your support of aspiring Chicago culinary…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants
Apr 8, 2018

Finding gluten-free friendly restaurants has gotten a lot easier than it used to be. At Lettuce…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Join RPM & Mercy Home’s March for Kids Campaign
Mar 10, 2018

Looking for a way to give back to the Chicago community? Join RPM Italian and RPM Steak this month…

read more >
How To
Giuliana Rancic Dishes on How To Throw An Award-Winning Oscar Party
Mar 2, 2018

The 90th Academy Awards are happening this Sunday, March 4th! With a little planning and some useful…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce in Love: Weddings with Lettuce Parties
Feb 13, 2018

It's almost Valentine's Day and love is in the air. Believe it or not it's a tale as old as time (or…

read more >
In The Restaurants
A Few of Our Favorite Pizzas for National Pizza Day
Feb 9, 2018

There's a food holiday out there for everything but today (February 9) is National Pizza Day and we…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to go on Valentine’s Day 2018
Feb 4, 2018

Have you made your Valentine's Day plans yet? It's right around the corner and there's lots of…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Set Sail, Drink Wine and Celebrate
Jan 16, 2018

Do you like cruising and wine? Well, come aboard! Join Burt Wolf from PBS and Lettuce Entertain You…

read more >
How To
The Perfect Party Appetizers
Dec 12, 2017

A well-crafted appetizer is the perfect way to make sure your guests won't go hungry so you can…

read more >
How To
How To: Make Thanksgiving Dinner Like a Chef
Nov 15, 2017

In charge of preparing Thanksgiving dinner this year or simply looking for recipe inspiration? Our…

read more >
How To
A Guide to Selecting the Perfect Thanksgiving Wines
Nov 7, 2017

Fact: wine stores are intimidating. More truth: we're here to help! We've tapped the minds of our…

read more >
How To
It’s Apple Season: Where To Get Them and Where To Eat Them
Oct 19, 2017

Yeah, yeah, pumpkin this and pumpkin that, but let us not forget about our other favorite fall…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Where to Eat & Drink in October
Oct 2, 2017

Throughout the month of October, Lettuce Entertain You restaurants are donating a portion of…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Fall Foliage: Five Ways to Enjoy the Season
Aug 31, 2017

Days are getting chillier and the leaves are starting to turn. Fall is on the horizon, and there’s…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where (and How) to Eat Artichokes This Season
Apr 14, 2017

The glorious, fleeting, and quintessential vegetables that easily evoke the feeling of spring are…

read more >
How To
How to: Eat Clean
Mar 21, 2017

Let’s be honest, the vegan, paleo, gluten-free talk can get a little, well, intimidating. What…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Art of Aperitivo
Sep 15, 2016

Aperitivo is popping up more and more, and for good reason. What is it you ask? It's not only a…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce Date Night
Aug 15, 2016

 

read more >
Openings
RPM Italian is Coming to D.C. and It’s All About the Pasta
Jun 14, 2016

The modern Italian restaurant from restaurateurs R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman, chef/ partner Doug…

read more >

Recent Posts

How To
Re-Create Saranello’s Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi at Home
Jun 20, 2018

We know that everyone's schedule is busy between work, getting to the grocery store, soccer games…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Las Vegas Restaurant Week
Jun 19, 2018

Las Vegas Restaurant Week (June 18-29) has begun! With multicourse lunch and dinner specials running…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Tallboy Taco’s Boozy Rainbow Paleta Benefits the Center on Halsted
Jun 18, 2018

To celebrate Chicago Pride, Tallboy Taco is serving a limited-edition Rainbow Paleta available June…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Oh Marie, Take Us To Summer
Jun 14, 2018

Summer is in full swing and there's a newfound spring in Marie's step with il Porcellino's warm…

read more >
In The Restaurants
After 20 Years, Here’s 20 Things to Know About Mon Ami Gabi
Jun 14, 2018

Since 1998, Mon Ami Gabi has been serving up French classics like our signature Onion Soup Au…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Rich Says You’ve Gotta Try: Stella Barra Pizzeria
Jun 13, 2018

Summer time is typically synonymous with (trying to) eat lighter but what if we told you that what…

read more >
How To
Here’s How Bub City Celebrates the Best of American BBQ
Jun 11, 2018

Let’s stop for a moment and really think about… BBQ. Burning embers, fragrant smoke, saucey…

read more >
In The Restaurants
What’s New at Booth One: Breakfast, Brunch and a Bar Menu
Jun 7, 2018

We've got three things to add to your summer to do list! Booth One has rolled out a new weekday…

read more >
Openings
Now Open: Aba Brings Mediterranean Summer Vibes to Chicago
Jun 6, 2018

Aba is now open for dinner and with summer in Chicago almost here, we’ve got our eyes set on…

read more >
In The Restaurants
5 Perfect Date Night Dishes from Tokio Pub
Jun 5, 2018

Hey everyone! Kailley of Kailley Lindman Photography here! I'm a food writer-turned-photographer,…

read more >
Openings
Ramen-san Sends Noods to Fulton Market
Jun 4, 2018

The second edition of Ramen-san (@ramensanchi) is now open, bringing the "San" vibe of broth, beer…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Negroni Week: Drink Up For Charity
Jun 2, 2018

Drink a Negroni and benefit a local charity? We're in. June 4-10 marks Negroni Week 2018, a…

read more >
Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now

Lettuce on Instagram

Checkout our feed @lettuceentertainyou!