Red Rabbit | 788 Grand Avenue | St. Paul, MN | 651.444.5995 | https://www.redrabbitmn.com
My husband and I recently had a chance to stop in at the Red Rabbit on Grand Avenue for a sampling of food and were very pleased with the whole experience. We tend to prefer a comfortable, upscale casual atmosphere over super formal most often and the Red Rabbit set the tone right from our point of arrival with its welcoming exterior: narrow wood panels and windows with black awnings for accent; and a black canopy over the door. Their tag line “Uncomplicated Authentic Italian: Pizza Pasta Oysters” pretty much says it all.
Once inside, the restaurant presents itself with a very open, airy, energetic vibe that is neither overwhelming nor distracting – but rather very welcoming and neighborhood-like friendly. You’ll see a very stylish interior of charred wood plank floors, dimly lit gas lamp-like fixtures, red leather tufted high-back booths (with handy coat hooks on the side), traditional red brick walls and an authentic tin stamped ceiling.
The front of the restaurant features an expansive U-shape white zinc-topped bar with 30 red-top bar-stools, large screen TVs, high-top tables and stools along the front wall (overlooking Grand Avenue), and a communal table with seating for 14. The bar features trend setting cocktails, 50+ wine options, and an ample selection of local craft beers.
The main restaurant area is lined with 11 red leather-tufted booths that easily accommodate 4-6 each, two round tables with seating for six each, a combination of 2-top and 4-top tables down the center that can easily be combined to accommodate a larger group. If you like a little more privacy, there’s a table for 10-14 in the back corner, right side; to the left , a corner booth with seating for 12. Overall the restaurant can accommodate up to 200 total.
Weather permitting, Red Rabbit has outdoor patio seating for 30-36 people, a wood-burning fireplace with little red lights for special effect. The patio is also pet friendly.
The food we shared in a word was “amazing.” We started with their Prince Edward Island house oysters, sampled the Grilled Portobello Mushroom with summer pea relish and crispy kale appetizer, and ended with their incredible Bolognese Pappardelle. The Bolognese sauce wasn’t your typical red sauce; the cream AND parmesan cheese the chef adds to the sauce makes it extra delightful. Breads and desserts by Woulett’s (a Grand Avenue staple). Gluten free? Vegan? Vegetarian? Not to worry. They’ve got you covered.
Best of all, our server, Erin, was most delightful. She was very customer focused: pleasant, engaging, professional, and well versed on the menu. Oh, and we took home with us a piece of their delectable Sticky Toffee Cake. Totally yummy! Will we come back again? You bet!
Parking is easy in their surface lot to the side and rear of the restaurant.
The Red Rabbit is the family-owned and operated by Luke and Tracy Shimp and their two sons. The family launched the first Red Rabbit in 2016 in Minneapolis in the North Loop, followed by the Grand Avenue property October 2018. They also own and operate four restaurants under the name Red Cow: Selby in St. Paul; Minneapolis North Loop off First; Hennepin; and 50th and France. The cuisine at Red Cow is more burger focused; however, they recently added a plant-based section to their menu. Both concepts offer Saturday and Sunday brunches from 10am to 2pm.
The owners and staff are all customer focused and driven. Their philosophy in part: “ if you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong”; and ”you have to love it to be good at it”. They foster a selflessness team approach – everybody helps everybody. If someone is having an issue at a table, someone steps in to help. The staff is very well groomed and personable and it shows in their smiles and how they conduct themselves. They know the menu very well and exude a confidence when making recommendations to their customers.
For additional information about the restaurant, please contact Michael Baldonado, General Manager at 651.444.5995 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prepared by Mary Jo Wiseman, CMP | Author, “The Meeting Planning Process: A Guide to Planning Successful Meetings.” https://www.maryjo-wiseman.net