Chef Sara Kramer puts every piece of the animal to work in this three-part feast: Legs, first confited in duck fat, are finished on the grill for a smoky char; seared saddle is dusted in hawaij, a fragrant blend of turmeric, cardamom and black pepper; and the belly is simmered with tomatoes and onions until tender. Rounding out the meal—which is inspired by owner Sara Conklin’s Lebanese heritage—are accoutrements like a pickled vegetable plate, luscious preserved-lemon yogurt and buttery griddled flatbread that’ll have your greasy fingers reaching across the full table for more. • 718-389-0640. $72.
Rabbit dishes: Bunny-based plates are multiplying at NYC restaurants
Normally a springtime favorite, rabbit dishes are showing up at NYC restaurants as roasts, stews and more.
As in the 19th-century version of paella valenciana, rabbit takes on a leading role in Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer’s modern rendition. The toques braise Connecticut-raised meat in an onion-and-garlic chicken stock before adding it to short-grain calasparra rice with plump Burgundy snails. A hit of pimentón de la Vera (Spanish paprika) adds smoky depth to the richly aromatic dish. • 212-691-2360. Small $34, large $68.
In this elegant plate, Anita Lo turns dolmas inside out, layering brined grape leaves, crushed pistachios and sautéed onions onto deboned saddle (rabbit loin) before it’s rolled into a tight baton. Building on the Mediterranean flavors, she cuts the moist, pan-roasted hopper into neat medallions and serves them with a creamy, lemon-infused yogurt and refreshingly tart pomegranate seeds. • 212-741-6699. $37.
At this rustic Italian restaurant-market hybrid, chef Justin Smillie brines Whiskey Hill farm rabbit for 12 hours to lock in moisture, then pats them down with a dijon-anchovy-and-sage rub. Pulled from a wood-burning oven, the succulent meat is crowned with winter vegetables, including lightly singed endives and meaty, butter-steamed chanterelles. Crushed, agave-glazed almonds finish the hearty dish with crunch. • 212-837-2622. $39.