RPM Italian

Located in downtown Chicago, a short walk from the Magnificent Mile, RPM Italian is a hip, almost club-like restaurant that serves up high class food. We started with a solid set of Arancini, which is a deep fried risotto ball that's stuffed with mozzarella. While it fell short of the incredible Arancini from Frasca in Boulder, CO (which is my benchmark), it, as well as the Prime Beef Meatballs were superb. The pizza was serviceable, but all of the other dishes were all rock solid. The highlight was the White Truffle Ravioli with freshly shaved white truffles, with the Veal Osso Bucco Milanese also being excellent. For dessert, the house made Donuts were heavenly.

On the wine front, a bottle of Sashi Moorman's 2012 Sandhi Chardonnay Santa Barbara County was gorgeous and paired up perfectly with the starters. Crisp, pure and racy, yet also with terrific length, it's a classic Chardonnay that's about as versatile as they come on the dinner table. Even better, the 2009 Châteauneuf du Pape le Grand Pin from Saint-Theodoric was firing on all cylinders. Complex, perfumed and seamless, it's one of the few wines in the appellation that actually holds up to a "Rayas-like" comparison. Coming from sandy soils, fermented with 100% whole clusters and aged all in old barrels, it has a sappy, old-school and traditional vibe, yet stays incredibly elegant and silky. It's a blockbuster Châteauneuf that readers should be happy to have in the cellar. All in all, this was a solid meal and a restaurant I'd certainly visit again.

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