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Look Around RM Champagne Salon, Ready to Finally Make its Debut Aug. 2

The elegant lounge setting evokes a Parisian parlor
The elegant lounge setting evokes a Parisian parlor

[Photo: Jason Little]

One of Chicago's most anticipated summer spots is finally ready to show itself off to the world. RM Champagne Salon, tucked away behind Nellcôte down a cobblestone alley off Green Street, will open its doors officially to the public on August 2. This spot, from Element Collective, which also owns Old Town Social, was originally supposed to open in late winter/early spring, but was pushed back due to construction and permitting issues with the city.

Now that it's opening, expect one of the best collections of Champagne and sparkling wine in Chicago, pulled together by wine director Jason Wagner, who came to Chicago from New York where he worked at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.

While RM will have a fairly extensive red and white wine list, some spirits and a 40-ounce of Miller High Life (hey, it is the Champagne of beers), the focus here is really on the bubbles, many of which hail from the Champagne region, but will also come from other parts of the world, including Spain, US, Hungary, Italy and more. Prices could be as low as $26 for a bottle of Tenuta Santomé Prosecco from Veneto, Italy or as high as $1,500 for a magnum of '99 Jacques Selosse Milesme Brut.

As for glass pours, that list will change frequently, but will always have at least one glass being poured from a magnum of sparkling or still wine, a bubbly under $10 and a sparkling rosé under $15.

Former Fritz Pastry owner Nate Meads has crafted a menu of petit fours and mignadises to pair with the bubbles, including a chocolate-covered cherry lollipop rolled in pistachio, various macarons (lemon, chocolate, red velvet), his version of a Kit Kat bar, Paris Brest, a PB&J truffle, raspberry Basque cake and more.

Diners will be able to select from a menu of cheeses ranging from soft to hard to blue and RM will also feature savory items like seared foie gras with Michigan peaches and pain perdu; quail egg ravioli with chanterelles; crispy oysters with Champagne batter and Béarnaise sauce; seared scallop with uni and pistou; various salads like a Lyonnaise; oysters on the half shell; and traditional caviar service.

The food and wine is only part of the draw. The sexy and sophisticated space, found down the cobblestone path, starts with the 150-seat patio lit by dangling overhead tea lights where a large format projector will screen classic Italian movies and black-and-white film noir. The 1,500-square-foot interior has the feel of an intimate Parisian parlor with antique-framed mirrors, crystal chandeliers, a marble-fronted fireplace, tufted leather couches and a stately credenza to hold numerous decanters. While RM was originally said to open months ago, it seems it may be worth the wait.
· Chicago's Most Anticipated Summer Restaurant Openings [~EChi~]
· Nellcôte Team Working on Champagne Salon With Top NY Sommelier Jason Wagner [~EChi~]
· Wormhole Owner Buys Fritz Pastry, Enhancements Coming [~EChi~]

Nellcote

833 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607 312.432.0500 Visit Website

Old Town Social

455 West North Avenue, , IL 60610 (312) 266-2277 Visit Website

RM Champagne Salon

116 North Green Street, , IL 60607 (312) 243-1199 Visit Website

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