After several months of careful plotting and planning, today is the day that Red Rabbit finally opens its front doors for service. The restaurant is a new collaboration between Luke Shimp, who owns the quickly expanding mini-chain of Red Cow restaurants and chef Todd Macdonald, who left Parella to join Shimp’s company. The new eatery is in the North Loop neighborhood in a one-time auto-body shop on Washington Avenue that has been completely transformed.
Before heading in for a quick bite of the new lunch menu, it’s best to be the most in the know diner. Here are a few fun facts to inform your first visit.
42 Glasses of Wine By the Glass
Shimp is a big fan of wine and is all about figuring out how to preserve the wine after the bottle is open. Red Rabbit has a special stopper that measures the oxygen amounts in the bottle and regulates them so they retain their integrity. Even better? The champagne gets a quick dose of bubble refreshing. That means plenty of bottles are ready for the sipping.
It’s a book of cocktails
Because just the standards aren’t enough, there is an entire book of cocktails waiting to be read through before ordering. Take some time to study - it’s a fun read and then order from a vast array of classics and even some low-proof cocktails from bar man Ian Lowther.
No, that’s not beer in your pizza crust.
There is plenty going on in that kitchen, but the pizzas are the centerpiece. The crust is allowed to age a little bit, allowing the yeast to get just a little bit of funk on it. The flavor isn’t enough to delve into the tang neighborhood where sourdough lives, but it’s an extra oompf that means no crust is left behind.
Did we mention happy hour?
There’s both an early and late happy hour planned and that means discounts on wine, beer and house cocktails, plus a few small bites will be available at a discounted price.
Both fresh and dried pastas.
Chef Todd Macdonald has serious Italian food chops and all that skill and experience is evident in the geminelli, Those tender little twirls of pasta are expertly sauced and could be pulling in high prices at a more formal restaurant.
Vegetables aren’t just for sides
There’s a whole head of cauliflower that’s been dancing around Pintrest for a while and driving food bloggers mad with photo-staging desire. That dish is on the menu here, but clearly better than anything mere mortals are going to make at home and it is glorious. Red Rabbit joins the trend of new restaurants that are putting vegetables in the coals and prominently on at the forefront of the menu.