725 Main St.
Rapid City South Dakota 57701United States
The Potted Rabbit is the kind of epicurean outpost surprising to find on the western edge of the Midwestern plains.
The Potted Rabbit is hard to define. It sits below a large sign that reads Gastronomy. It's a bakery and a deli. It's a stand-up coffee bar. It's a high-end specialty food store in downtown Rapid City, South Dakota, which isn't usually a magnet for high-end foods. But hard-to-define is a good way to describe chef M.J. Adams, who opened the Potted Rabbit with husband Walter Albasi in December 2010. Right next door, their Corn Exchange Restaurant and Bistro is a tiny eatery -- just 28 seats -- with a big, award-winning reputation. The Corn Exchange opened in 1996 as a storefront bakery and eatery. Just six months later, a spectacular downtown fire destroyed eight businesses, including M.J.'s. She regrouped, and reopened around the corner, this time as a sit-down restaurant. But her dream of a small bakery stayed with her. The Potted Rabbit realizes that dream. It features house-baked pastries, espresso coffees, soups, artisan breads and a variety of specialty foods. But you might be surprised to discover that there are no chairs. Customers stand at the coffee bar or at the table toward the front windows, in the European style of coffee shop. Downtown Rapid City has no shortage of Wi-Fi-connected coffee shops where people can sit down, log on and hang out. The Potted Rabbit's emphasis remains on the food, which is very, very good. We had a latte and a fruit galette, a sweet, fruity, crispy cake with a dusting of powdered sugar, and loved it. In the gleaming white refrigerator cases along the wall, you can find items such as goose, squab, specialty yogurt, organic butter, organic cream, upscale cheeses and other gourmet items that are all but impossible to find in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Beginning in the summer of 2011, the Potted Rabbit will offer organic picnic baskets and hiker packs for visitors to the Black Hills.