An Extravagant Experience at RPM Steak

December 30, 2014

A meal at RPM Steak is a lavish one. From the moment you walk in, to the moment you leave, you're made to feel like a celebrity. The second restaurant from Bill and Giuliana Rancic, in collaboration with Lettuce Entertain You, did not disappoint. I'll admit, I had pretty high expectations for RPM Steak after a less-than-stellar dinner at sister restaurant RPM Italian a few years ago.

The atmosphere is similar to RPM Italian, sleek decor with black and cream tones, and an attractive waitstaff in tailored attire to boot. I stopped by with my friend Katie on a weeknight and the dining room was about half full. I didn't find it as loud and buzzing as RPM Italian which made conversations that much easier. The main floor of the restaurant has leather semi-circle booths scalloped around the dining room's border, with a bar at the entrance, and tables in the middle. I honestly thought the place would be bigger, but I really enjoyed the view from the comfy booth where we were seated. The mezzanine contains a private dining room where President Obama had dined recently. I'd say the crowd was a mix of business diners, couples celebrating special occasions, and groups of women, also celebrating special occasions. A meal at RPM Steak comes with a hefty price tag so it's certainly worthy of special occasion status.

After getting situated, our server (who was extremely knowledgeable, unlike my experience at RPM Italian) went over the menu with us and brought us our glasses of wine. We were also treated to an amuse-bouche which consisted of spicy tuna atop rice. It was quite tasty and I'd imagine is a good representation of some of the raw menu items including Japanese Yellowtail, and Tuna sashimi.

Tuna Amuse-Bouche
While RPM Steak is a steakhouse, you don't get bread for free. This is one place I recommend buying the bread (Girl & the Goat is the other), because it's fantastic, and is also one of the more affordable menu items. Can we talk about how pretty the bread is? Yes, I called bread pretty. The rolls are buttery and similar to brioche or challah bread. They came with Nordic butter with sea salt on top, because why have local butter when you can have Nordic butter!

Parker House Rolls with Rosemary Nordic Butter
Katie and I decided splitting everything was the way to go, especially if we wanted to try as much as possible. We started with the Coal-Roasted King Crab which is served on salt rocks with lime. Now, this is by no means a large portion--it's actually only about two bites per person--however, it was fantastic. Super fresh, well-seasoned, and great flavors. If you enjoy seafood, I'd definitely recommend a seafood starter as RPM Steak has a wide selection of items ranging from oysters and prawns, to crab legs and lobster.

Coal-Roasted King Crab
Since we were at a steakhouse after all, of course we ordered steak. Choosing a steak was no easy feat though. There are plenty of options including filets, a 42 ounce Tomahawk, wagyu, a 60-day dry-aged ribeye, and even bison. The message here--go big or go home.

We went with the 16 ounce USDA prime bone-in filet. Our server cut our filet tableside which made it very easy to split. It was quite a hefty portion but we also had no trouble finishing it. We ordered the filet medium rare and it was perfect. There's nothing worse to me than getting a steak overcooked so we went on the rare side and it was a great decision.

If you're not a steak eater, there are other options as well, including fish, seafood, and chicken. However, vegetarian options are limited to salads and sides.

16 Ounce USDA Prime Bone-in Filet
RPM Steak has plenty of side options as well, including veggies, potatoes, and mushrooms. I wanted to try one of the four varieties of wild mushrooms because I felt this was a unique offering that sets the restaurant apart. Yes, you can get sautéed mushrooms at just about any steakhouse, but how about Hen of the Woods mushrooms, or King Trumpet mushrooms? We tried the Hen of the Woods and they were just OK.  I think they could have used a little extra oomph or seasoning.

Hen of the Woods Mushrooms
You can't have meat without potatoes and there was one menu option that jumped out to me. Dubbed the Millionaire's Potato (for good reason) this giant double baked potato is topped with luscious fontina cheese and shaved black truffles. You could practically smell the truffles from the kitchen. This was certainly a splurge and another representation of the extravagance of RPM Steak. If you're a fan of truffles (who isn't?!) get this potato!

Millionaire's Potato: Double-Baked with Fontina & Black Truffle
Lastly, we ended our meal with their signature 14K Chocolate Cake. Our server told us this cake would change our lives. I'm not so sure. With another nod to that RPM extravagance,  the dark and milk chocolate cake is topped with flecks of 14K gold leaf. Again, why have chocolate cake when you can have chocolate cake with gold? The cake was tasty, but it did not change my life. I didn't like that it was served cold--it made it seem like it was mass produced and came straight from the fridge. Katie seemed to like it more than me. I will say I did like it better when I tried the leftovers at home at room temperature. Other dessert options include a seasonal bread pudding, baked Alaska, and a chocolate soufflé. Next time, I'll probably try the bread pudding or soufflé.

14K Chocolate Cake
So, what are my thoughts overall? While RPM Steak is certainly hyped up due to its celebrity, I do think it's worth the hype. The food, service, and experience was well above my time at RPM Italian, and thankfully so, considering the cost of a meal there. If you're looking for a classic Chicago steakhouse experience, this is not the place. If you're looking to splurge on a luxe dinner for a special occasion, make a reservation.

I'm giving RPM Steak 4.5 ghosts for their professional and knowledgeable staff, fantastic selection of meats that give all other steakhouses in Chicago a run for their money, and that Millionaire's Potato!

RPM Steak
66 W. Kinzie Street.
Chicago, IL 60654
RPM Italian on Urbanspoon

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