The Bear resonated so much with Moon Rabbit’s team, the Wharf’s modern Vietnamese restaurant decided to do an entire takeout menu devoted to dishes showcased on the wildly popular summer streamer.
Moon Rabbit’s one-day menu riff on The Bear — cutely named “The Rabbit” — is available on Monday, August 22 for preorder-only pickup from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the InterContinental’s essential lobby-level restaurant (801 Wharf Street SW).
“Our kitchen team really loved the show and we really wanted to redo the menu,” Moon Rabbit executive chef Kevin Tien tells Eater. “It’s very realistic to actually running a restaurant. Almost every episode, we point out that ‘this has actually happened.’”
Tien and chef de cuisine Judy Beltrano, who previously worked together at now-closed Emilie’s and Momofuku CCDC, give the Moon Rabbit treatment to a few favorites from the FX series. Mains are $16 to $32 and desserts, drinks, and sides start at $6.
The Bear follows prodigy chef-turned-sandwich slinger Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto as he returns to Chicago after a whirlwind rise to fine-dining fame at top kitchens like Noma and the French Laundry. The Rabbit menu naturally stars a juicy Italian beef sandwich, its take on the top seller at Original Beef of Chicagoland — the failing restaurant Carmy turned around after his brother suddenly died.
The show spotlights the perils of working in the industry as it relates to mental health, and a portion of the day’s proceeds will go to The Giving Kitchen — an Atlanta-based nonprofit that provides financial help and resources to restaurant employees in crisis.
Short rib and risotto riffs on the same R&D dish prematurely sent out to a food critic by mistake in one episode. There’s also a nod to that Xanax-in-the Ecto Cooler punch bowl blooper; Moon Rabbit’s spin is benzo-free, of course.
Original Beef’s resident baker Marcus, best known for his famous chocolate cake, goes on a series-long quest to perfect the strawberry doughnut. Moon Rabbit executive pastry chef Susan Bae puts her stamp on both desserts for the menu.
Chicken piccata, an ode to the comfort food Carmy’s mom used to make, also makes an appearance. As does spaghetti, a significant part of the plot based on his late brother’s scribbled recipe calling for canned San Marzano tomatoes.
Tien says the The Rabbit menu could make a comeback, depending how well it goes. Moon Rabbit is currently in the midst of Summer Restaurant Week.
Meanwhile, another pop culture phenomenon — Netflix series Midnight Diner — currently inspires a Restaurant Week menu in Chinatown. Daikaya Izakaya’s themed dinner spread features takoweena, potato salad, and other food favorites of characters from the cult classic. Daikaya chef and co-owner Katsuya Fukushima first fell in love with the movie on a flight to Japan.
“I think it’s such a cool concept that a restaurant opens at midnight,” he says. “It really makes me jealous cause I’d love to run a place like that since I’m such a nite owl.”