MONCTON – Barolo & Co., the company behind pop-up-turned-permanent fine dining restaurant Black Rabbit on 329 St. George Street, is working on a new lunch delivery service called White Rabbit.
The idea started when a staff meal using products for Black Rabbit turned out delicious, said owner Luc Doucet.
“We had a brisket last month and we made a sandwich with the trim of the brisket and covered it in cheese…And I was like, this might be a business here,” he said.
While doing lunch service at the restaurant isn’t viable right now, Doucet wants to serve lunch in a different way to increase revenue and use more of the products from Black Rabbit.
White Rabbit will only be available through online food delivery platform Skip the Dishes to start with. Doucet plans to launch the program in mid-August, the first time Barolo & Co. dabbles in delivery service.
“I called Skip the Dishes because I didn’t want to hire more staff – our staff is working really hard with Black Rabbit…we’re already labour intensive, so it’s just adding a few little things. And then it’s just myself that’s doing lunch and if it takes off, amazing.”
Meanwhile, Black Rabbit will focus on being a full-time restaurant that serves small plates with 10 to 12 items, and six-to-seven course tasting menus with choices of wine for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. The restaurant, which opened in March, started out as a wine bar but has expanded its service. The bar is still available for customers who also just want to try some appetizers.
“We’re done with pop-ups for the time being,” Doucet said. “But we brought everything we learned from all the pop-ups to the restaurant.”
White Rabbit’s menu will be simpler and appeal to a broader market compared to Black Rabbit, Doucet said. To test the waters, he will start with at least three sandwiches, soups, salad and other sides. The price will likely be between $14 and $18.
“We have brisket sandwich with shrimp paste and hoisin sauce, sauteed mushrooms and some brie squeezed between two pieces of bread, and then we have pork belly ends, which are double roasted with kimchi and barbeque sauce. A bit of sesame seeds and pickled red cabbage,” Doucet said.
“And we’re going to do a lobster roll for six weeks or so, like the one we did in Shediac, tweak it a little bit – with brioche and we’re going to add crevettes de Matane [northern shrimp] which is delicious right now.”
If the White Rabbit concept works, Doucet plans to expand it.
“I would love to do another kind of segment of something. I don’t know how it’s going to go, so we’re going to start with Skip the Dishes first and of course, if it goes well, we’re going to expand and have more offerings – maybe a pick-up station or something like that.”