Photograph by Caitlin Abrams
Chicken Parmesan at Red Rabbit
Just when you thought we were done with new Italian restaurants, Red Rabbit opened in December, wooing North Loop-ians with pasta and cocktails. Sister to Luke Shimp’s Red Cow empire, this sibling is a little more upscale in its approach to wine, cocktails, and food (thanks to the kitchen stylings of chef Todd Macdonald). But among the spinach gnudi with smoked mushrooms and trendy grilled toasts is a throwback we haven’t seen on foodist menus in awhile: chicken Parmesan. Red Rabbit hasn’t messed with it, deconstructed it, or panko-crusted it. Theirs is old school and cooked with reverence. The chicken has been pounded thin and given a crisp and honorable breading that holds fast to that cutlet. Add a vibrant red sauce and a mantle of Wisconsin whole milk fontina and Parmigiano Reggiano (the good stuff), and you get a cheesy statement dish as pure as a dairy princess. Rather than hide from the pedestrian leanings of chicken parm, Red Rabbit celebrates it, winning our jaded hearts in the process.