Reality eating

If you follow my blog posts (which I am hoping you do by now), you know that when I travel I like to get recommendations for restaurants and have amazing food experiences that I can come home and share with my friends, and post here on my blog for others to check out when they travel to amazing cities.

In addition to being a foodie and trying new things, I am a fan of reality TV (yes, I am). I am a fan of Giulana and Bill Rancic and followed their reality show last year as they gave birth to the idea of opening a restaurant in Bill’s hometown Chicago.

So, back in January when we were invited to my cousin’s wedding in Chicago, what was the first thing I did after we booked our tickets – that’s right….made a dinner reservation at RPM Italian! It may sound crazy to you, but it isn’t really….if you have a limited time to be in a place, and you don’t want to miss out on something you want to do – book in EARLY!!  If you read my previous post about my Hawaii dinner reservations, I booked Mama’s Fish house five months in advance!

Before we left the hotel (in the rain) to go to the restaurant, I asked the girl at the front desk how far it was from the hotel. She replied, “Oh I was just there for my birthday on Tuesday, it is amazing”…and you have to try this and this and this. Were Bill and Giuliana there (eat a great meal AND have a star sighting). No, she replied, but Howard Stern was there! (Pretty cool).

We arrived at the restaurant promptly for our 7:30 reservation, and taken right away to the table. I asked if there were any “special guests” tonight. The host said B and G weren’t there, but you never know. I also wanted to meet Chef Doug (Head Chef and also on the show). He wasn’t there either. Oh well, a great meal was still in store for us minus the celebrity sightings!

From the show I knew that Giuliana had a salad that she created and her mother “Mama DiPandi” had created some pasta dishes. We order the salad and this amazing truffle garlic bread.

For our main dishes my mother ordered the spaghetti with ‘mamas’ meatball. Not meatballs, but one really large (and very tasty) meatball.

I ordered lobster ravioli, and my father ordered the fish special of the day, with a side of garlic whipped potatoes “gorganzola piccate” is what it said on the menu. AMAZEBALLS!

Throughout the meal I was telling my parents about the show, about the uniforms that the staff wore and that they were created on the show, the building that they bought, how they decided on the decor. Every time that our server came to the table, I was talking about the show. He was impressed that I was such a fan.

Before we ordered dessert, he came to the table, and said, “you are such a fan, I think you would really enjoy this (if you don’t already have it). He gave me Bill and Giuliana’s book! It was such a nice thing to do, which I am sure isn’t done for every ‘star struck’ fan that comes to dinner.

And it gets even better….

 We ordered two desserts to share. One was the special dessert that the girl at the hotel told us to order and then we ordered tartufu which simply put, was like eating a ferrero roche, frozen…de-lish!

When the runner came with our desserts, he brought three to the table. Our waiter, Gianni, came over said that since we were such fans of the show, that we had to try Bill’s special dessert – chocolate buccotini (the middle photo). So amazing.

The whole evening was an amazing experience. I was happy to share it with my parents, because it wasn’t something that we get to experience on any kind of regular basis.  

If you go to Chicago, you will find many incredible restaurant experience, and RPM Italian should be on your list!