New Year's Eve is fast approaching, but there's still time to find a place that suits your style when it comes to ringing in 2013. The Red Rabbit Kitchen and Bar, a newcomer on the dining and bar scene, is certainly a worthy choice. We've dined there recently and have been very impressed. Good attitude, good ideas, lively setting and the vibe seems to reflect Midtown Sacramento -- smart, urban, unpretentious.
Red Rabbit's entry in the New Year's Eve sweepstakes includes a five-course prix fixe dinner from chef/co-owner John Bays, with wine and cocktail pairings. It costs $69, which is an excellent deal, judging from what I've seen of the menu. The major food courses have options, and the kitchen will do a vegetarian option upon request.
"New Year's Eve is such an anticipated event in Sacramento and people want it to be meaningful, non--â€pretentious and fun," said Matt Nurge, co-owner and barman. "John and I decided to put together a menu of food and drink courses that represent the perfect close of 2012 and hopefully provide lots of inspiration for the new year ahead. I worked closely with my team on the cocktail and wine selections to work with John's courses in a fun and interactive way."
Here's a look at the menu for Monday night:
First Course â€¢ a Mouth Amuser, Then choose One Of Each Course
Second Course â€¢ Paired with a Cilantro Cooler Cocktail
Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops
Miso Butter, Lotus Root Chips, Micro Cilantro
Grilled Skewered Jumbo Prawns Lemongrass Butter, Crispy Leeks, Micro Cilantro
Third Course â€¢ Paired with Ferrari Carrano Fume Blanc
Roasted Baby Beets
Tri-Color Baby Carrots, French Breakfast Radish, Pearl Onions, Del Rio Arugula, Goat Cheese Vinaigrette
Del Rio Greens
Blood Orange Supremes, Pomegranate, Dried Cranberries, Toasted Pine Nuts, Point Reyes Farmstead Blue Cheese, Champagne Vinaigrette
Fourth Course â€¢ Paired with Atteca Old Vines Grenache or Red Tail Ridge Dry Riesling
Roasted Petaluma Duck a l'Orange
Citrus Poultry Jus LiÃ©, Celeriac PurÃ©e, Grilled Romanesco, Cashew Butter
Veal Osso Bucco
Gremolata, Creamy Grass Valley White Polenta, Braised Capay Red Swiss Chard
Cracked Blackpepper Bourbon demi-glace, German Butterball Potatoes, Baby Carrots, Parsnips, Caramel Jus
New Zealand Bluenose Sea Bass
Grapefruit Buerre Blanc, Acorn Squash and Potato Cake, Riverdog Bloomsdale Spinach
Fifth Course â€¢ Paired with a holiday inspired Champagne Cocktail
Blood Orange CrÃ¨me Caramel
Baked Caramel Custard, Blood Orange Tuile
Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart
Chocolate Tart, Dark Chocolate Truffle Filling, Peanut Butter Brittle
There are two seatings -- 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. To make reservations, call (916) 706-2275. Red Rabbit is at 2718 J St., Sacramento. While reservations are recommended for any New Year's Eve event, Red Rabbit says it will do its best to accommodate walk-ins.
Be safe out there that night. Take a cab or, if you want to do the Midtown thing, walk or ride your bike to Red Rabbit.
Blair Anthony Robertson is The Bee's restaurant critic. Follow him on Twitter, @blarob.