When the Melmans and Rancics first announced RPM Italian, much of the food focus was on Mama DiPandi's old world Italian dishes. But the steaks became the stars—directly leading to RPM Steak—according to chef/partner Doug Psaltis.
"I've been thinking about a steakhouse since I got the porterhouse I was looking for (at RPM Italian)," Psaltis says. "When I saw the reaction (from customers), I knew we had something.'"
Once RPM Steak became official, Psaltis embarked on a journey to source its meat. What he found, and will cook, is steaks from many places: Texas, Kansas City, Tainted Hills in Oregon, New York, Japan, and Slagel Farms in Illinois. "The focus of course will be on having incredible steaks (but) the way we're going to cook them might be a little different than most people," he says.
He'll cook those meats a variety of ways: broiling chops over charcoal, grilling some over white oak, using a traditional steakhouse broiler, and do crunchy ribeyes in old-fashioned cast iron pans. Expect porterhouses, skirt steak, wagyu, dry-aged, off-cuts, and more, without crusts and other steakhouse accoutrements, ranging in price from under-$30 to around $100.
But when you ask Psaltis about the food, he talks as much about the vegetable and fish dishes as the steak, calling the restaurant a "guilt-free steakhouse" where "you don't leave feeling like you ate Thanksgiving dinner." Look for six types of broiled mushrooms and other lightly-cooked seasonal vegetables; roasted prawns, lobster, scallops and king crab legs; whole fish and crudo; roasted chicken, duck and lamb chops; and many salads.
Paul McGee is putting together a classic-leaning cocktail menu, featuring old fashioneds, scotches and whiskeys. The wine list will focus on extensive Bordeaux and Champagne selections.
Psaltis says they're putting the finishing touches on the space, which he describes as "RPM (Italian's) older brother" that's "old fashioned with a little drama to it." The 8500-square foot restaurant will include 150 seats.