RPM Aperitivo Hour – Is It As Good as Drake Made It Look?

Photo by Fatema Sachak
Cremini mushroom Pizzette
Cremini mushroom Pizzette

RPM – the exquisite Italian restaurant which famous rapper Drake reserved so he and his girlfriend could eat alone for a night. One would think, if a celebrity allegedly went there twice during his visit, surely it is outstanding. However, even though the aesthetic is beautiful, I wouldn’t say it is the most rave worthy restaurant in the DC or even the Chinatown area. 

Spritz & Giggles (Photo by: Fatema Sachak) Spritz & Giggles

I’ve heard many brilliant reviews about RPM’s Happy Hours or as they call it, Aperitivo Hour, so I was excited to finally try this renowned restaurant. Arriving after work on a Thursday, it seemed typical to see many young professionals de-stressing with a drink after a long week. The ambiance, though charming, does not fit the casual Happy Hour spot. It is more suited for a romantic evening; black décor and walls, dimly lit with a small candle on every table and a bar in the middle. Despite the ill-fitted environment for an after work Aperitivo Hour, their deals seemed pretty nice. 

My friend and I were seated almost immediately despite not having a reservation and were seated towards the end of the room near the patio. We started with the Aperitivo menu, which runs from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm Monday to Friday. We tried to make the most of what we could before 7:00 pm hit. Their hors d’oeuvres were all $5 each and their cocktails were either $7 or $8. We shared a few items, starting with the grilled oysters, fried mozzarella and cremini mushroom pizzette, which was topped with truffle, so we had to choose that. We figured we would probably still be hungry, so we ordered one item off the main menu, their truffle garlic bread circa 1963 (hoping their bread was not as dated as its name insinuated). You can’t go to happy hour without ordering a drink, so of course we both got the pinkest drink on the menu, the Spritz & Giggles. 

Fried oysters (Photo by: Fatema Sachak) Fried oysters

The food and drinks did not take long to arrive and looked appetizing despite the food portions being a touch smaller than we anticipated. The drinks were a lovely deep pink color topped with dried raspberries and a lemon, very delightful. The oysters looked the most enticing, topped on rock salt and covered in cheese. The cheese tasted fantastic, but it swamped the taste of the oyster and I could barely get a taste or feel of the oyster under that cheese. It was not worth ordering the oysters when I could have simply ordered grilled cheese instead. The fried mozzarella was mediocre, they just did not have any taste. We had to take the rock salt from the bed of oysters to add to the mozzarella balls to give them some flavor. Disappointing. The pizzette was the item I was most looking forward to eating. Mushroom, truffle and cheese are some of my favorite foods, therefore together they should be a magic show. However, the mini pizza fell flat on flavor as well. It needed salt in order to bring out all the other flavors, but unfortunately, though it smelled incredible, it tasted bland. Last to arrive was the warm truffle garlic bread, and luckily this was a winner. The bread was crispy with the perfect mix of truffle and garlic that warmed the body, and probably harshened the breath. Oh well!

Overall, it was a pleasant evening at RPM, and I would definitely recommend the place for an after-work drink, but maybe ask for some salt when you order food. Who knows, maybe you’ll order something different and find the gold that Drake discovered at RPM.