The rumors are true: Reality stars Giuliana and Bill Rancic are opening a restaurant in Washington. Giuliana, a Bethesda native, announced on The Tommy Show that she and her husband are planning to debut a branch of their Chicago-based RPM Italian here.
We first became aware of the expansion after the season six premiere of Giuliana and Bill, wherein the couple scout potential spaces for their restaurant around town. There’s no word yet on how close the DC version will stay to the Windy City original, which is a collaborative project with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (which is also behind Maggiano’s, Mon Ami Gabi, and Wildfire in our area). You can see a copy of the original restaurant’s menu online; it includes everything from fairly moderately priced pastas to a $118 steak for two.
While some are skeptical about the number of celebrity- and celebrity-chef-driven eateries opening in Washington—Chris Bukowski’s “lady-friendly” sports bar, anyone?—there’s some hope for RPM: Michelle Obama seems to be a fan.
Update: This post previously stated that RPM was going into the space that formerly housed Buddha Bar. In fact, a lease has not yet been signed. Stay tuned for more information.