Seven Restaurants Serving Rabbit Dishes Right Now
Has it been a while since Peter Cottontail last dropped by to bestow his signature basket of goodies? Maybe it’s high time you paid him a visit instead. If you’re looking to get away from the traditional glazed ham that’s appearing on menus this time of year, and yet still order something in the spirit of the season you’re in luck: Just in time for Easter, we’ve tracked down some of the city’s top rabbit dishes. With apologies to the Easter Bunny—rabbits are historically a religious symbol of fertility, hence the eggs and whatnot—here are seven must-try dishes around town:
Chicken-Fried Rabbit at Alden & Harlow
If you’re seeking rabbit this season, Best New Restaurant 2014 winner Alden & Harlow should be at the top of your list. At this semi-subterranean Harvard Square spot, hippity-hop meets crispy and crunchy in chef Michael Scelfo’s chicken-fried local rabbit. Made from a forcemeat of rabbit and pork belly fat, this sublime nugget—accompanied by a drizzle of chili oil and blue cheese dressing—earned a shoutout from Bon Appétit last year.
Alden & Harlow, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-864-2100, aldenharlow.com.
Strozzapreti at Sportello
Stewed rabbit is a staple of rustic Italian cuisine, and while Barbara Lynch’s restaurants aren’t exactly known for their peasant-friendly prices, Sportello, her gleaming-white Italian diner in Fort Point, serves up a braised bunny worth every lira. Her strozzapreti, a dish of twisted “priest strangler” pasta and braised rabbit with green picholine olives and rosemary, routinely earns raves.
Sportello, 348 Congress St., Boston, 617-737-1234, sportelloboston.com.
Sicilian Rabbit at Vinny’s at Night
If you’re in the mood for hearty, generously portioned, affordable Italian fare in a no-frills setting, it’s Vinny’s you’re after. Tucked into the back room of a corner store, this beloved red-sauce joint isn’t exactly a hidden gem anymore—word’s out, thanks to its legions of fans. Look beyond Vinny’s famed veal osso bucco, and try their Sicilian rabbit, slow-cooked in a agrodolce (sweet and sour) red vinegar sauce with onions, green olives, celery, and capers.
Vinny’s at Night, 76 Broadway, Somerville, 617-628-1921, vinnysatnight.com.
Rabbit Quarters at Lala Rokh
This Beacon Hill stalwart has been enticing lovers of Persian food (and lovers in general) to its cozy dining rooms for 20 years. And now, in this intimate warren, you can feast on a rabbit dish fit for a sultan. In conjunction with a major renovation, Lala Rokh has updated its menu, adding rabbit quarters with preserved lemon and olives to its new main courses.
Lala Rokh, 97 Mt. Vernon St., Boston, 617-720-5511, lalarokh.com.
Conejo Escabechado at Dali
Diners preferring a more festive setting for their lagomorphic pursuits should head to Somerville, where you can savor fetching little drumsticks of conejo escabechado, red-wine-braised rabbit with juniper and garlic, in the cheerfully knickknack-strewn tapas cavern that is Dali.
Dali, 415 Washington St., Somerville, 617-661-3254, dalirestaurant.com.
Diced Rabbit with Szechuan Sauce at New Shanghai Restaurant
Rabbit dishes also happen to be a star of Szechuan cooking—and the menu of New Shanghai Restaurant. A few years back, this Chinatown spot (a favorite haunt of Julia Child’s) reinvented itself as a destination for tongue-numbing Szechuan fare. If you’re up for a challenge, try their spicy diced rabbit appetizer. Navigating the tiny bones—which are a typical feature of this preparation—can be tricky, but it’s worth the extra effort.
New Shanghai Restaurant, 21 Hudson St., Boston, 617-338-6688, bostonnewshanghai.com.
Rabbit Sandwich at Ames Street Deli
Get your rabbit to-go at Ames Street Deli, which caters to Kendall Square’s hectic lunchtime crowd. Their hipster deli menu features a rabbit mortadella sandwich with pork liver, carrot, and mustard greens, all served on “rustic carrot bread.” If you’re not in a rush, however, make sure to relax with a cocktail (or two) from their playfully twisted drinks menu, spawned from the same minds behind Journeyman, Backbar, and Study.
Ames Street Deli, 73 Ames St., Cambridge, 617-374-0701, amesstreetdeli.com.