Rebel is one of a bunch of new restaurants that have recently opened in the Gay Village, breathing some much needed new life into the neighborhood.
When Rebel first opened, I was a little hesitant to give it a try due to some now diluted memories of the uninteresting restaurants which previously occupied the space. When I walked in for the first time earlier this spring, I had myself set up to be a bit of a hard sell. I took a seat near the bar with a friend and we ordered some drinks while we scanned the menu. As we waited for the drinks, I took a look around and saw that aesthetically they’ve made some interesting improvements to the space. The structure of the restaurant remains similar to the previous iteration though the bar has been beautifully remodeled and bar-high tables now run along the west wall. They have also incorporated more wood and darker surfaces around the restaurant making it feel like a genuine French brasserie. If it wasn’t for the questionable mirror screens in the back of the restaurant and the strange use of lettering over the bar, I would say that they hit their mark with the concept.
The food is quite delicious at Rebel. I’ve had their burger (of course) and I also tried their chicken burger with duck confit. They are both deliciously put together. I’ve had friends try their brunch and for the most part they’ve enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to sampling more of what they have to offer like their beef tartar and maybe once I’ll leave room for desert – maybe. Speaking of the menu, I have a gripe with the way they display their choices. That clip board may have been a good idea on paper, but over time the menu has started to look like a collection of ratty papers. A simple folding menu would have done the trick just as well.
Service at Rebel is professional, timely and they are cohesive as a team (especially when they come around with those awkward pepper mills that almost take two people to opperate). Seeing the wait staff work together to serve clients and help each other out makes for a pleasant experience and helps relax the restaurant’s atmosphere. Because of good service, good food and a fun atmosphere, Rebel has converted this skeptic and I think it’s definitely worth paying a visit. Over the summer months, St. Catherine Street in the Village is closed off to traffic allowing restaurants and business to spill out onto the street.
Rebel’s street level terrace brings in a lot of foot traffic and this will certainly help spread the word. Have you tried it?