Chicago SMAK RPM Italian

The hype around RPM Italian was big. Bill and Giuliana Rancic are partners. The food is amazing.It would be safe to say that I was concerned that the actual experience would not live up to everything I had heard. It seemed like the shoes would be too big to fit.

RPM ItalianTouché RPM, touché. What I witnessed Monday night was perhaps the best culinary experience I have had in a very long time. The attention to detail, to flavor combinations, to presentation and service. RPM hit everything spot on. The only thing that I found to be distracting was the completely inappropriate apparel worn by some of the patrons - booty shorts and a see-through lace top are not appropriate for this venue. Take your Lollapalooza costumes back to Grant Park.

Our waitress was one of the best that I've ever had - helpful yet not overbearing, friendly, laid back, an all around pro. Walking us through the menu, she was able to get an idea of what flavors and dishes we were interested in and made suggestions from there. All of the pasta is made in-house and it definitely helped push our dining experience above and beyond our expectations. Below is our menu:

Watermen & Tomato

Watermelon & Tomato ricotta salata, black olive

This was the biggest shock of the night - the combination of tomatoes, watermelon, ricotta cheese, and chiles? I definitely didn't image that powerhouse combination would be as brilliant as it was!

Zucchini Fritti

Zucchini Fritti herb dip

In the words of our waitress, "Who needs potato chips anyways?"

Prime Beef Meatballs

Prime Beef Meatballs

Hands-down Chicago's best meatballs. From the instant it touched my tongue, the meat melted and the flavors overwhelmed my taste buds (in a very good way).

Potato Gnocchi

Potato Gnocchi sausage, rapini, chili flake

This gnocchi was about ten billion times better than the dried gnocchi I purchased at Mariano's earlier this summer. Perhaps it is time that I learned a homemade gnocchi recipe...

Mama DePandi's Bucatini Mama DePandi's Bucatini pomodoro, basil

This was the perfect basic red sauce pasta. The basil was incredibly fresh and added a burst of flavor to the fairly simple pasta dish.

Tartufo

Tartufo hazelnut gelato, chocolate shell

Have you ever had Ferrero Rocher? This was similar, but about ten times better. The hazelnut flavor wasn't overpower and the combination of soft gelato with the crunch of the chocolate shell was the perfect way to finish our dinner at RPM Italian.

If you live in Chicago, or are visiting anytime soon, I implore you. Call ahead, make reservations and spend a little extra money for an amazing dinner at RPM Italian.