Pearl #50: Gluten-free at RPM Italian (Chicago)

Jan 18th

I swoon over pasta. Thank GOD there are gluten-free substitutes. I really don’t know what I would do. So naturally I’d been dying to try RPM Italian, AKA┬áBill and Giuliana Rancic’s modern Italian restaurant, in River North.

RPM, in the Lettuce Entertain You group, has a gluten-free menu. Like, an actual one, not just oh hey, we have gluten-free pasta on hand sometimes. I so appreciate that.

Ken treated me to dinner there for my birthday…which was in November, so hey, I’m a little late to the blogging party on this one.

The rundown? Service was good, and they were great about allergies. I got carded, which was weird. It’s definitely an upscale place and doesn’t seem like a place where badass minors would come to go wild and have a glass of wine. But I guess they’ve gotta do what they gotta do.

For the GF crowd, there are five pasta options (made with GF fettuccine) and a risotto dish to choose from, plus multiple entree, appetizer and side options.┬áPasta portions are smaller – but probably what one normal American should be eating and also more typically the portion size I would eat at home. And I definitely was full when I left.

Ken and I got the provolone-stuffed peppers to start. He was a fan, I thought they were just OK. Kind of a lot of cheese, and I was trying to save room for pasta.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

We got two different salad options to split – the shredded Brussels Sprouts salad with avocado, and the RPM Caesar Wedge with white anchovy.

These were both great – I have a special place in my heart for Brussels Sprouts anything, and this salad did not disappoint. I swear it tasted better than it looks in this photo – the lighting in RPM Italian was really not conducive to great photos. This was a BIG salad – we could have just gotten this one to split and been a-OK.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

But our eyes are always bigger than our stomachs, and we had ordered the RPM Caesar Wedge as well. For those who love wedge salads but don’t like that they are typically served with blue cheese (aka Ken), this is your jam. This was really good, too – and topped with polenta croutons.IMG_2823

For pasta, we got the gluten-free Carbonara and the gluten-free Spicy King Crab pasta.

The Carbonara, made with black pepper, pancetta and egg yolk was very rich. I don’t think I could have eaten the whole plate on my own.Gluten-free at RPM Italian - GF Carbonara | Gluten-Free Pearls

I preferred the Spicy King Crab pasta over the Carbonara. The Fresno Chili definitely gave it some heat, and with a squeeze of lemon, this was a pretty solid pasta dish.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I didn’t leave raving about this place, but I’m glad we went. It’s fun to be fancy every once in awhile – and feel good about a safe meal.

Until next time,



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