It was at the beginning of this year—prior to the power grid failing and our familiarization with deep cuts from the Greek alphabet—when Misti Norris told us about her latest endeavor: Rainbowcat. We were still in an era of (mostly) takeout-only and fast-casual instead of fine dining. And chefs like Norris were navigating a rocky food scene that called for easy to-go meals.
Thus, Rainbowcat was born. It’s “just stuff we would want to see if we were ordering” a late-night meal or a comforting snack, Norris said in January.
Now, though, Norris is heading into the slinky, sexy depths of Midnight Rambler (okay, it’s one flight of stairs down under the Joule, but you get it). There, Norris’ Rainbowcat will pop up inside the subterranean cocktail bar. I really want to call this team-up Midnight Rainbow or Cat Rambler, but so far they’re sticking to a much clearer branding strategy. Good for them.
So, on December 21, Rainbow Cat night at Midnight Rambler will include a menu of bar food with Norris’ fine-dining touch. That means porchetta “McMuffins” on house-made English muffins with a fried, farm-fresh egg. Unicorn Dogs are comprised of smoked pepper sausage on garlic-and-mushroom-scented rice buns. The Unicorn dogs, I presume, allude to this whole unicorn project. “The whole idea behind this concept is that there’s no reason behind it. It’s just stuff that we really like and that we find really delicious and like to make,” Norris says. Something I can fully get behind!
Of course, expect drinks from the brain of barman Gabe Sanchez. The Black Swan Saloon bartender-owner joined the Midnight Rambler team in January of this year. (What planets were aligning for Sanchez and Norris to pick up their respective new projects? I’ll leave it to the professional astrologers.) Sanchez and his crew will serve a holiday menu (see below for details) and a tiki-themed Rainbowcat cocktail.
And, yes, “I would love for it to become a brick and mortar”—eventually, Norris said. Perhaps this will give Rainbow the momentum it needs for a permanent location. As for the name, says Norris, “We were like, ‘Rainbows and cats are awesome.’”
Tuesday night’s Rainbowcat pop-up will be an un-ticketed event and all items are sold à la carte. Preordering is strongly recommended and available on Midnight Rambler’s website.
Rainbowcat Pop-Up at Midnight Rambler
Tue, Dec. 21, 6 p.m. to midnight
Preorder online. No tickets.
🌭 Unicorn Dogs $12
Garlic and mushroom scented rice buns stuffed with smoked pepper sausage, spicy shitake mayo, hot mustard, pickles
Porchetta “McMuffin” $16
Housemade English muffin, porchetta, braised greens, American cheese single, fried farm egg
White Bean Dip $9
whipped white beans, chili crunch, crackling
Whipped Milk $9
cinnamon crunch, sour apple
Kosho Pickled Beets $5
Hot Buttered Paradise $15
Jamaican rum, Caribbean-spiced coconut butter, demerara sugar
The Grinch Stole Everything $14)
Midori, lime, Cointreau, vodka and a classic
Armagnac, crème de menthe, cream, crème de Cacao
Rainbowcat-themed tiki cocktail
*The holiday cocktail menu features a virtual toy drive benefitting local nonprofit The Family Place.