A chef-driven menu is expected fine dining restaurants. At RPM Steak, Chef Doug Psaltis does the Chicago steak house Italian-style; RPM Italian is around the corner. Chef Psaltis is the “P” in RPM Steak; the “R” and “M” stand for the Rancic and Melman families who co-own the restaurant. Rich Melman, of course, is the legendary Chicago restaurateur and the man behind RJ Grunts, Shaw’s Crab House and many other restaurants in the Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises empire. Like other LEYE outposts, RPM Steak is beautifully appointed, in subtle tones of black, white and gray, with lots of rich leather and wood, feeling as much like a club as a dining spot (though without the blaring music! Young people!). The room is designed for comfort as much as style, with sleek banquettes, suitable for merry-making groups or couples who just want a little privacy. Like many LEYE restaurants, it’s the kind of place you can bring business associates, a date, or a couple of friends and always feel like the place was made just for you.
Psaltis specializes in superb steaks (more on that in a moment) but what truly sets this steakhouse apart are the dozen fresh pastas made daily in-house, including pork and beef cavatelli, asparagus Agnolotti and prosciutto tortelloni. Other Italian touches to the menu include salumi, housemade focaccia and prime beef meatballs.
There are abundant fish and vegetable options; as food critic Phil Vettel wrote in the Chicago Tribune, “Psaltis treats his non-steak entrees with respect as well; the coal-roasted chicken has garlicky flavor and lacquered skin that's almost brittle in its crispness. A half-dozen seafood selections were augmented one night by Dover sole, in classic sauce meuniere, and I'd certainly opt for that indulgence again. The current indulgence from the kitchen, now that white truffles are in season, is creamy risotto, topped tableside with enough freshly shaved white truffle; the dish is nominally an entree, but probably works best as a shared side. And speaking of shareable sides, the vegetable offerings include a Millionaire's Potato, a double-baked, huge potato loaded with fontina cheese and shaved black truffle.”