Saturday night, there was a lot of buzz and busy activity at the corner of Illinois and Dearborn as TV personalities Giuliana and Bill Rancic threw a party to give Chicago VIPs a "sneak peek" of their new RPM Italian restaurant.
They’re opening the restaurant at 52 W. Illinois, the site of the old Ben Pao Asian eatery.
The title represents the last initials of the key partners in the project, the Rancics, head chef Doug Psaltis and the successful younger generation of the Melman restaurant empire. Molly, Jerrod and R.J. Melman already have scored huge success with their Hub 51 and Sub 51 and Paris Club and Studio Paris ventures.
Along with Fox Chicago's Anna Davlantes, Bob Sirott (and his wife, Marianne Murciano) and Jan Jeffcoat, the new, sleek and sexy updated Italian restaurant was jam-packed with a bunch of Chicago celebrities, including Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith and his wife, MaryAnne, Alexi Giannoulis, Miss Illinois USA Ashley Hooks, the Bears' Charles Tillman, The Mix's Kathy Hart and Second City owner Andrew Alexander.
In a chat with Fox Chicago, Giuliana Rancic talked about how she learned about fashion from her dad (a high-end tailor and designer), but she learned about food from her mom. In fact some of Mama DePandi's recipes have been adapted for the RPM Italian menu.
Bill Rancic and Mama DePandi joked, though, that Giuliana’s interest was more in eating than cooking.
Rancic also spoke candidly about how she is so happy she can use her high profile status to bring attention to the dangers of breast cancer and the importance of catching it early.
Rancic recently underwent a double mastectomy and has spoken openly about her own struggle with the disease.