By Jenny Berg Posted March 5, 2012, 1:00 PM EST
CHICAGO RPM Italian, a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, opened in River North in late February. The 10,000-square-foot venue, which takes its name from surname initials of the partners—celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic, chef Doug Psaltis, and restaurateurs R.J., Jerrod, and Molly Melman—offers several private dining spaces. New York-based interior design firm Monolayer created the sleek interior, a space furnished with gray leather banquettes, dark wood accents, and a color scheme of black, white, and gray.
At the eatery, chef Psaltis focuses on modern Italian fare with handcrafted ingredients. Cold antipasti options include lobster caprese, while hot hors d'oeuvres include wood-oven pizza bites and prime beef meatballs. The menu also offers house-made pastas such as angolotti with black mission figs and a bucatini pomodoro dish inspired by Guiliana Rancic's mother, “Mama DePandi.” The main bar offers more than 100 American and Italian wines and specialty cocktails, and the six-seat Amaro bar serves digestives.
In terms of the layout, three sectioned-off rooms—referred to as Sets One, Two, and Three—are situated to the left of the entrance; each can seat 16 guests or hold 20 for receptions. The separate spaces can be combined to host seated dinners for 48 or receptions for 60. The main dining room and bar can also be rented and seats 300 or holds 500 for receptions.
At the back of the restaurant, the boardroom has a conference table for 12; for receptions the space holds 20. A semiprivate area outside the room known as the Stage seats 40 or holds 60 for receptions.