Clever Rabbit is a new-ish veggie-focused restaurant that recently opened on the West Side of Ukrainian Village and Wicker Park earlier this year. It is close to where I live, so after a Saturday of sleeping in longer than usual, Chris and I wanted to go somewhere close for a quick bite.
After my foodie-friend Emily informed me that she had just wrapped up brunch there, I thought it would be a clever idea for us to check it out as well. I’ll try to spare you from rabbit puns during my review, but I can’t please every bunny!
Clever Rabbit is cute with minimalist and earthy decor. An assortment of different hanging lights and sconces add charm to the place, as well as plants mounted on the brick by the bar and a wall made of moss. I liked the interior a lot. The space is small, but I loved the blue tufted booths, and the light wooden chairs and tables.
After the hostess informed us that it would be a few moments before our table was ready, we headed over to the bar to order a round of cocktails. As we settled in to the high leather bar stools, we perused the drink menu. Chris opted for something hoppy by ordering a beer, and I decided on a carrot margarita.
The carrot margarita was on point; I was hesitant because the though of the carrot juice that I buy at the store mixed with tequila kind of threw me off. To my pleasant surprise, the cocktail was really balanced; light and refreshing with just a hint of sweetness. I also decided that drinking my vegetables was a good way to justify having a margarita at 11 a.m.
We were seated at a four top towards the front of the restaurants where the light poured in thanks to the large windows facing out on to Division street. Starving, it didn’t take Chris and I long to decide on what to order.
I was surprised he didn’t go for the breakfast burrito, which is normally Chris’ go to on any brunch menu. Instead he went with the rabbit breakfast, which came with scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, smoked maple carrots, and toast.
It was definitely a rabbit breakfast in terms of the portion; it wasn’t very much, to be honest. Nonetheless, Chris really enjoyed the crispy potatoes, and the smoked maple carrots were delicious as well; I just wish there had been more of them.
Being the crrisp fall day that it was, I couldn’t resist the urge to order the sweet potato pancakes. My server agreed, sharing that they were the best brunch menu item. The pancakes arrived topped with spiced mascarpone, candied pecans, and were served with a blis barrel aged maple syrup. These were the winning dish of brunch.
I especially loved that they were kind of oddly shaped; though, of course, it didnt make them taste any different, it was still charming to have pancakes with imperfections and added to the presentaion. The pancakes were warm and fluffy, the perfect filling dish to stick to your bones on a brisk chilly day.
Per my personal brunch rule of “always get the grits” I ordered a side of the Anson Mills cheesy grits. Though grits seem very basic, and as my husband says they are “just a reason to eat salt and butter”, I digress that all grits are not necessarily good. These didn’t fall into that category. The grist were hearty, not too cheesy, and they were also a big serving, which I liked.
The service was fast, and the place is charming. I would definitely recommend this spot to and vegetarian friends of mine. I wasn’t super impressed with the menu, considering the fact that the rabbit breakfast was as simple as eggs and toast, as well as the seemingly basic breakfast items like the French toast and burrito.
The Bitches Say: C. Clever Rabbit is cute, and it ideal for your vegetarian friends. Don’t expect to be blown away by the food offerings, they are quite mediocre, but good nonetheless.
2015 W. Division St.
Weekend brunch is serves on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.