Inside Giuliana and Bill Rancic’s New DC Restaurant: RPM Italian

Inside Giuliana and Bill Rancic’s New DC Restaurant: RPM Italian
RPM Italian, a splashy new restaurant from celebrity stars Bill and Guiliana Rancic, opens in Mt. Vernon Triangle. Photography by Evy Mages

After three years in the making, celebrity duo Giuliana and Bill Rancic have opened RPM Italian in Mt. Vernon Triangle. The luxe 350-seat restaurant is the second location for the former E! News host and The Apprentice winner, along with Lettuce Entertain You. The Chicago-based hospitality group operates seven Washington restaurants, including Joe’s Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab and Mon Ami Gabi.

Here’s what to know before you go.

The menu boasts a few shareable dishes–perfect for the deep booths–like a Florentine steak for four.

The vibe: Chic, sleek, and moodily-lit—minus two patios, where you can catch rays while sipping a $14 peach bellini and “hand-cut” (we hope?) crudo. That being said, this place isn’t precious–red sauce classics like eggplant parm and spaghetti with meatballs are options on the menu.

The VIPs: Giuliana and Bill presided over the opening party, snapping selfies with fans. A celebrity photo wall greets guests at the entrance of the dining room, where you’ll see Giuliana’s Bethesda-based parents among the A-listers.

Sip cocktails like a fresh peach bellini at the bar, or on one of two patios.

The chef-on-the-ground: Gabe Thompson. Though there are more names attached to RPM than your average boy band, the executive chef is the face you’ll spot most often. Thompson relocated to DC from New York, where he helmed the kitchen at popular Italian sister restaurants L’Artusi, dell’anima, and Anfora.

The large menu includes a raw bar, pizzettes, house-made pastas, and a range of grilled meats and seafood.

The splurge dish: The $165 dry-aged Florentine bistecca, which serves two-to-four. Just don’t let Rancic buddy Donald Trump do the ‘well-done’ ordering.

The “save” dish: Mama DePandi’s $14 pasta pomodoro, which serves one person as a small appetizer (so no, not how mama  would make it).

Guests can book private dining spaces in the 350-seat restaurant.

The dessert-and-a-show: Torta meringata, a salted caramel and vanilla gelato cake that serves two-to-four, and is flambéed  table-side ($18). Better than reality TV.

RPM Italian. 601 Massachusetts Ave., NW; 202-204-4480. Open Monday through Thursday, 4 to 11; Friday and Saturday, 4 to midnight. Closed Sunday. 

An Italian take on the Washington power booth.



Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.