Neighbourhood: Osborne Village
Address: 135 Osborne St.
(Editor’s Note – This business is no longer open.)
Some of the city’s best restaurants satisfy on a basic level, with creativity, consistency and accessibility. Places where inventive cocktails, a hip crowd, and live music explain, just as much as the menu, why it’s packed every night. One such spot is Black Rabbit Bistro, a new addition to the Village’s foodscape, which has found instant success in its long vacant space. The restaurant upgrades well-loved dishes with sophisticated flavours pulled from cuisines around the world.
Offering a menu for traditionalists and adventure seekers alike, chef Michael Day shines with killer creativity and presentation. Expect to see trending ingredients like wasabi aioli and sweet potato purée amping up comfort classics.
The sprawling space has minimal decor, with an inviting and buzzy atmosphere. In the lounge, bartenders sling inventive concoctions behind a curved bar, while a hip crowd mingles over boozy tinkerings and small plates. Drinks like the subtly sweet barrister, made with lemon juice and ginger beer, show creativity. Staff is friendly and knowledgeable, with servers raving about the night’s features.
Flavour mash-ups frequent the menu, such as bacon lardon mac and cheese, or pork belly with apple gastrique. Microgreens, grown by Osborne Farmers Market just a few blocks away, decorate dishes with peppery perk. Showstoppers include succulent French-style mussels swimming in a pool of white wine and brown butter, accompanied by a crisp baguette. The menu changes each season, keeping the spread fresh and exciting, but favourites like the Black Rabbit classic sandwich are a must-have. Crispy fries share the plate with toasted bread, holding crispy bacon that falls out with every bite.
Mains are hearty and gutsy, presenting traditional staples with unexpected twists. Chef Day’s pork chop is pan-fried to perfection, each bite bursting with savoury juices that melt into smooth sweet potato mash. Crispy kale tops the dish, a light and addictive rendition of the trending veg.
The high-energy crowd makes this watering hole great for catching live music, chatting or cheering on a game, but the continuous traffic of plates makes it clear: visitors to this grub hub come for the food.
Black Rabbit is open Tues & Wed 4 pm-12 am, Thurs 4 pm-2 am, Fri & Sat 11 am- 2 am, Sun 11 am – 12 am, closed Mon.