Have you ever been out in the country on a beautiful summer day and spotted an adorable bunny hopping along through a field and thought, “Damn, I wish I could eat that thing?”
Good, that’s why we like you. Rabbit meat tastes a lot like chicken (duh), but mammalier. Which is to say, it’s a little richer, a little denser, a little more velvety. It’s a pretty widely used ingredient; the list we’re about to present to you of restaurants that serve rabbit includes Italian, South American, Polish, Chinese and New American cuisines, and you can find the little critter all over the city.
Newcomer Sepia, which has been winning the ravest of rave reviews, has a roasted rabbit appetizer with ricotta dumplings and riesling reduction for $11. We’ve never met a rabbit that doesn’t enjoy a good braising. Especially when you start adding dairy like Szalas does, serving their wild rabbit in a Chardonnay cream sauce ($17.95).
What else you can do to a rabbit? Roast it, for one, like Riccardo Trattoria does, and serve it au jus with olives & soft polenta for $19. In a similar vein, rabbits take well to the rotisserie, and Brasa Roja serves it off the spit with rice, potato, yuca, plantain and salad ($7.95 for half a rabbit; $13.95 for the whole thing).
But if you really want to experiment, Lao Sze Chuan does more with rabbit than maybe any other restaurant in Chicago, with two cold appetizers (Szechuan Spicy Rabbit and Five Powder Rabbit, each $5.95) and five entrees (Dry Chili Rabbit, Stewed Rabbit with Mushroom, Stewed Rabbit Home Style, Stewed Rabbit with Beans and House Special Rabbit In Hot Pot, $11.95-$12.95). If it were claimed that LSC serves the spiciest rabbit dishes in the country, we would not bat an eye.
Remember, rabbits aren’t endangered or anything, so if you don’t want to eat them because they’re cute, you’re a hypocrite.
[Photo: a baby bunny from the south suburbs, Mazzyg/flickr]