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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.

 (Photograph: Jessica Lin)
Photograph: Jessica LinRabbit at Glasserie
 (Photograph: Jessica Lin)
Photograph: Jessica LinRabbit paella at Toro
 (Photograph: Melissa Sinclair)
Photograph: Melissa SinclairSaddle of rabbit at Annisa
 (Photograph: Lauren Spinelli)
Photograph: Lauren SpinelliRabbit sausage at Pearl & Ash
 (Photographer: Lauren Spinelli )
Photographer: Lauren Spinelli Spit-roasted rabbit at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
By Patty Lee |
New York City chefs have bunny on the brain. This fall, local toques are taking advantage of the meat’s versatility, serving it stewed, roasted and stuffed. Hop on over to these NYC restaurants to give the rabbit dishes a try.
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Whole Rabbit to share at Glasserie
Photograph: Jessica Lin
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Rabbit at Glasserie


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 and Artichoke Paella at Toro
Photograph: Jessica Lin
Restaurants, Spanish

Paella <em>de conejo y lumach</em> at Toro


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.

Pan-roasted saddle of rabbit at Annisa
Photograph: Melissa Sinclair
Restaurants, American creative

Pan-roasted saddle of rabbit at Annisa

West Village

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.

Rabbit Sausage at Pearl & Ash
Photograph: Lauren Spinelli
Restaurants, Contemporary American

Rabbit sausage at Pearl & Ash


Chef Richard Kuo gives rabbit the frankfurter treatment at his downtown hot spot. Bone marrow and cheese rinds keep the snappy, garlic-spiked links moist, while a cabernet-sauvignon vinaigrette and petite kale add zip. • 212-837-2370. $16.

Spit Roasted Rabbit at Il Buco Alimentari
Photographer: Lauren Spinelli
Restaurants, Contemporary American

Spit-roasted rabbit at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria


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.


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