Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

July 29, 2016 11:51 AM

Restaurant: RPM Italian

RPM Italian

601 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC
RPM Italian opened in Washington on June 29, 2016. The original RPM Italian is located in Chicago, Illinois. It is the newest entry to the major eatery class in Washington.

Debbie and I went there with Whitney and Lee on a Saturday night.

At approximately 12,000 square feet, it is quite a space.

As you enter there is a reception desk straight ahead. To the right of the reception desk is a large area with an equally large bar with various seating options around the room. When we were last there, on July 16th the bar was packed.

To the immediate left is a private glass-walled room that seats up to twelve at a single table. Directly to the left is a very large room. Down the middle, for the length of the room there are two back to back cushioned benches with tables and chairs facing the benches on each side. They can be configured as two tops or four tops. Around the ends there are a number of four tops. To the left and right are a series of four five-person booths. At the end of the room is a substantial service bar.

Beyond this room and up a few steps is another large dining room filled with tables of various sizes. In total, the restaurant can seat 300 people, 330 people in a crunch.

The extensive menu, which like most other Washington restaurants, is available online. As an aside, I always try to look at the online menu before going to any new restaurant. I usually have some idea of what I am going to order before I arrive but I often change my mind.

On this evening we decided to start with a round of starters with each of us picking one or more, followed by four main courses selected the same way. We started with Tomatoes & Watermelon, Tuscan Kale Salad, RPM Caesar Wedge, and Zucchini Fritti.

For the main courses we selected Pappardelle Bolognese (Hand-Cut Pasta, Short Rib Ragu), Brick Chicken (Tuscan Pole Bean Ragu), Picatta Moderno (Thinly Pounded Chicken with a Parmesan Crust), and Lobster Fra Diavolo (Angel Hair Spaghetti, Spicy Pepperoncini).

And then came dessert. Lee and I ordered and primarily ate what we chose, Bill’s Chocolate Budino (Salted Caramel, Cocoa Nibs) and Sicilian Cannoli (Vanilla, Pistachio).

The service was as good as it gets. Our server was very helpful in assisting us in making selections. Those who delivered the dishes to us wore earpieces so the kitchen can let them know when particular dishes are available to be served.

Of course the men’s room is quite fresh. As you enter there are two square wash basins side by side in a marble top with a mirror above. There are two long wall hung urinals with a wall between them. There are two commode rooms. One is standard size and the other much larger for those who need additional room.

The open question is whether RPM Steak, another Chicago-based restaurant, will be opened in D.C. Stay tuned.

There is valet parking.

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