RJ and Jerrod Melman have just confirmed that their latest project, which will be replace Ben Pao on W. Illinois St., is going to serve…Italian food. Okay, so that wasn’t entirely unexpected, as Crain’s had predicted as much last month. That said, just about everything else about this project is genuinely interesting. The brothers, along with sister Molly, are also teaming up with Bill and Giuliana Rancic — the celebrity couple and stars of the Style Network’s Giuliana and Bill. In fact, during tonight’s episode you can watch as the Rancics talk about the concept. What about the food? Well, they’ve actually roped in a pretty great chef.
Chef Doug Psaltis consulted for Paris Club and helped out with L2O. But he’s also worked at a few of the best restaurants in America, including Alain Ducasse at the Essex House and the French Laundry. There is no official word as to what kind of Italian restaurant this will be, but RJ did priase Psaltis for his “authentic, progressive Italian food,” which leads us to predict that it won’t be another Maggiano’s.
The still unnamed project plans to open in January, and we expect to hear more very soon. Also, don’t forget to check out Giuliana and Bill tonight at 7 p.m. CT on Style Network.
Unnamed Lettuce Entertain You Italian Restaurant, 52 W. Illinois St., Chicago, IL 60654