WICKER PARK — Imaginative vegetable dishes and cocktails derived from veggies and greens — such as a carrot margarita and matcha gin and tonic — take the spotlight at Wicker Park's newest restaurant, Clever Rabbit.
Located at 2015 W. Division St. in the former 25 Degrees burger storefront just west of the Division Street and Damen Avenue intersection, Clever Rabbit is scheduled to open at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Clever Rabbit will be open for dinner seven day a week.
Described in a news release as a contemporary American restaurant with a focus on seasonal vegetables, as well as "thoughtfully sourced meats and seafood," the 92-seat Clever Rabbit is co-owned by The Betty's Chris Haisma and Brad Serot, with partner Nick Pagor.
“As Wicker Park continues to grow and change, we wanted to bring something unique to the neighborhood,” Haisma said.
Clever Rabbit's chef Matt Lair, most recently with Bom Bolla, has divided the menu into four sections: salads, vegetables, plates, and large platters like a crudite board with raw and house pickled vegetables, cheese, mushroom mousse, hemp seed naan and more.
Those who are opposed to vegetables, or don't wish to eat them as a main dish, might enjoy a burger named "The Fat Rabbit," a half chicken, or sea scallop schnitzel, among other options.
As for that carrot margarita, it was recently highlighted by Forbes magazine for "best summer cocktails" from around the country. It includes fresh carrot juice, Piedra Azul Reposado, Ancho Reyes Verde, lime juice and agave syrup.
Pagor oversees the beverage program, which includes several varieties of wine.
Clever Rabbit also offers draft craft beer and ciders, as well as alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails, with names like "Cheap Sunglasses" and "Dirty Business." View the cocktail menu.
There are 80 seats in the dining room, with an additional 12 at the bar and 50 on the Division Street patio.
Perks beyond the food and drink include music from a turnable fueled by a large vinyl collection and a unique "moss wall" featuring live plants and designed by Bottle & Branch.
A children’s menu is available upon request.
Hours are 3:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 3:30 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. For more information call 773-697-8711. For updates, check out Clever Rabbit's Facebook page, or follow the restaurant on Instagram or Twitter, @cleverrabbitchi.
The Crudite platter. [Eric Kleinberg].
"Fiambre Salad" with roasted red peppers, asparagus and more seasonal goodies. [Eric Kleinberg]