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LOOKING FOR RABBIT IN A RESTAURANT

Have never tried rabbit and would like to. Who is currently serving it in the Boston and/or northshore area?

Incidentally, have never tried a truffle either...

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  1. EVOO in Kendall Sq Cambridge usually has a rabbit appetizer. Haven't tried it myself due to an early childhood bad experience with grilled rabbit, and to a later adult experience of adopting an older special needs child whose pet name is Bunny. It seems quite popular because it seems to have been on the menu for a long time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Madrid

      that rabbit app is, i think, the salad which My Love and I cannot not order since the first time we had it. yumOla. but not a substantial piece to give you a real rabbit sense.

    2. The trick is to be vewwy, vewwy quiet.

      7 Replies
      1. re: justbeingpolite

        It's actually duck season.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          Wabbit season!

          1. re: soylent_greens

            Duck season!

            1. re: StriperGuy

              I'm a fiddler crab, why don't you shoot me?

              1. re: Chef Bwana

                And finally... It's Elmer season!

        2. re: justbeingpolite

          YOU are the best :-}
          i love deep belly laughs.

          1. re: justbeingpolite

            BWAH !!

          2. This is an easy answer. I don't generally love rabbit, but the Strozzapreti with braised rabbit, picholine olives and rosemary at Sportello is one of Boston's better pasta dishes and easily the best rabbit dish I have had in Boston.

            22 Replies
            1. re: ScotchandSirloin

              I second this recommendation. It was served to me because the waitress misheard what I had actually ordered, and I was glad that she did. The new tapas place in Woburn being discussed in another thread has a few rabbit options, but I haven't tried them.

              1. re: ScotchandSirloin

                what does rabbit taste like? Do you think this dish will really allow me to get the total flavor?

                1. re: observor

                  Tastes like chicken :)

                  Seriously, I think it's like chicken thighs, but a little stronger flavor. The pasta dish would be nice because (presumably) the meat would be off the bone. Eating around all the little bones is a little annoying, for me.

                  1. re: gimlis1mum

                    How about "tastes like chicken thigh with a slice of ham wrapped around it?" Cuz there's a hamminess in there, a bit.

                    If you like meat, you'll like rabbit. It's not that far off from other meats.

                    1. re: gimlis1mum

                      That kind of sums up why I don't get the point of eating rabbit. I lived in The North End for years, and could see the little bunnies getting delivered from some guy's trunk to the meat market a ways down Stillman St. from my living room window. Unless you were raised eating rabbit and are trying to recreate some childhood memory, or maybe you killed the rabbit yourself (in self defense of course), just eat some chicken. Or maybe a frog or two. The value added from consuming a mammal that more or less tastes like chicken just isn't worth it in a gastro-tourist setting.

                      1. re: Chef Bwana

                        Agreed, I made fried rabbit a year or so ago, and it was so close to chicken that it really had a 'what's the point' feel to the meal

                        1. re: devilham

                          Healthwise, rabbit is lower in fat and cholesterol than even the white meat of chicken. and it has far more flavor. The texture is similar to chicken, but rabbit tastes like -- get ready -- RABBIT!

                          1. re: devilham

                            To me, you might as well say that you won't bother to eat nectarines because they're too much like peaches and apricots. They're all just stone fruits but each has subtlety and it's own deliciousness.

                            My son ordered a killer grilled rabbit on Christmas Eve at Teatro a couple years back (they're now closed on Dec. 24 for dinner). It was a revelation. Smoky, tender and really delicious. I had to fight him for a few bites.

                            I agree that rabbit is also delicious braised. I haven't had it often, but almost always think I should order it more when I do.

                            1. re: bear

                              Gosh I haven't had grilled rabbit in ages and agree it is particularly good that way!

                          2. re: Chef Bwana

                            I love rabbit and find it subtly different from rabbit.

                            1. re: StriperGuy

                              I think it's obvious you meant chicken, and if you love it, wonderful!!! I just (personally) don't see the need to seek it out (rabbit that is) when dark meat chicken is so close in flavor and texture. Mind you this is my personal take, if you love StriperGuy, please, have one on me!

                              1. re: devilham

                                Duh excuse the typo "subtly different than chicken" someone else said hammy and that is about right. I also like gnawing the bones.

                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                  True, the bones are a bit thicker, and definately stronger. Now I did mine fried, like a chicken, is there something you do with it that would make it worth my while? Please let me know if you have a killer recipe that would change my mind, as rabbit is easily accessible for me at Tony's Market in Rozzie Square.

                                  1. re: devilham

                                    I thinks it's best braised or stewed, I do a cacciatore that rocks with red wine and sopressata in it.

                              2. re: StriperGuy

                                This is perfect. Gertrude Stein comes to Chowhound.

                                1. re: femmevox

                                  Gosh as a former English major I should pick up the Gertrude Stein reference...

                              3. re: Chef Bwana

                                I've eaten rabbit. It doesn't taste like chicken. It tastes like rabbit. If you can't taste the difference, you probably shouldn't be, or call yourself, a "chef". Or you could try wild rabbit which has a different, stronger flavor.

                                Two years ago we had reindeer for Christmas eve dinner. It tasted like, what do you expect, reindeer. It was the best red meat I've ever eaten, and i hope someday we can repurpose the pipeline to ship reindeer meat into the US.

                                https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...

                                1. re: KWagle

                                  I don't call myself a chef, I have worked in food service for many years, but have long ago hung up that hat due to injury, and cook solely for fun now, take it down a notch man.

                                  1. re: devilham

                                    Oh, you meant ChefBwana...maybe I should take it down a notch!!!

                                    1. re: devilham

                                      Yes, I meant Bwana... sorry.

                                      1. re: KWagle

                                        I thought of Willie: "That which we call a rabbit / By any other name would taste as chicken-y."

                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                  2. re: KWagle

                                    Agreed - one of the best proteins I have ever tasted was a smoked reindeer heart appetizer (cold) in a Stockholm restaurant earlier this year, but I don't think even Savenor's offers reindeer heart locally...though now that you made me think of it, I am going to check.

                          3. I had it at Vinny's in Somerville.

                            1. Stoddards in Boston has some

                              1. Dali has rabbit in a small portion, and it's my go-to "hey, wanna try some rabbit/quail/game?" for folks who've never had it, because if you don't like it, you've still got other tapas left.
                                Fair warning, I like Dalí fine but a decent number of hounds find it either "meh" or moderately overpriced.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: enhF94

                                  funny, their Rabbit tapas is the very reason i will never ever ever go back to dali. there was so much cinnamon in it the time i had it there, i will never get over the memory.

                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                    Lol. Given that, maybe not for OP's first time, when presumably you want to taste the rabbit. (Though I never had the problem the previous poster describes.)

                                2. hi observor,
                                  rabbit is most easily found in Spanish restnts, then some Italian and French. On the No Shore, it would be worth it to call 62 on wharf in salem and ask them.
                                  in woburn center, there is a new and excellent tapas restnt that has 2 rabbit tapas- one in garlic and one in almond sauce. many people describe rabbit as 'just like chicken', very mild.
                                  Pintxo Pincho. here is a current thread on it:
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/927403

                                  Truffles are def a much more unique flavor and there are many ways to get a taste of them, aside from having fresh truffles(there are white and black) shaved onto a dish. Whole Foods sells a small container of truffle butter in their cheese dept. WF and TrJ and Formaggio all sell truffle cheese . The butter and cheeses all have flecks of truffle in them and def taste like truffle.

                                  Aquitaine serves a Steak Frites with Truffle Vinaigrette which i happen to love. Unlike many dishes that just have truffle oil in them, this vinaigrette has actual truffle pieces in it and tastes robustly of truffles. (There are many many diff truffle oils but needless to say, some hardly taste like truffle. One sees a lot of 'truffle tater tots' or 'french fries with truffle oil' on many menus these days, but chances are they don't taste of truffle.) Since truffles are a luxe item, you can often see them included in special holiday dinners offered at Xmas and New Years in more expensive restnts.

                                  hope you enjoy them ).

                                  1. Opus in Salem has a shepherd's pie made with rabbit, I have not tried it though.

                                    1. Chilli Garden in Medford has a cold, fiery spicy, hacked up rabbit appetizer - I the taste and texture interesting, but did not appreciate when ordering that there are a LOT of bone shards to contend with mixed into the meat.

                                      9 Replies
                                      1. re: rlh

                                        Chilli Garden also has a hot (in both ways) rabbit dish which I really enjoyed (basically 水煮兔) but it's too spicy to get a real sense of what rabbit tastes like. It takes 45 minutes to cook, so call ahead or go early. That either means they use frozen rabbit, or live rabbit, and I'm guessing frozen.

                                        The Marliave, Sportello, and Opus options all sound like things I need to try.

                                        As for hunting rabbit, a long time ago I was wandering around the MIT area while talking on my cellphone, and managed to get close to a rabbit, about three feet away. I was able to trap him along a fence that surrounded a large parking lot, about three feet from me. He'd run along the fence, run back the other way, and occcasionally duck into the parking lot; I'd follow him around the fence and he'd exit the way he entered, at which point I had him trapped against the fence again. Three feet is a long distance at which to kill a rabbit when all you have is an iPhone.

                                        Eventually, he discovered a hole on the other side of the fenced parking lot and ran off. I was later told I could probably have run him to exhaustion, since rabbits are sprinters and humans are endurance runners. Lucky for him I didn't know that at the time.

                                        The moral of this story is: you don't actually have to be quiet at all. You can yak loudly on your cellphone and still easily get within killing distance of a rabbit.

                                        1. re: KWagle

                                          I'll have to check out Chilli Garden's rabbit dish.

                                          I'm not sure how the MIT police would react to your brush with urban game hunting. Speaking of, here's a marvelously fascinating piece about urban hunting: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/th...

                                          1. re: Prav

                                            We should have a Chowdown at Chilli Garden.

                                        2. re: rlh

                                          Szechuan Garden in Brookline Village does a similar rabbit dish that is exceptionally good (that is, similar to Chili Garden). The classic French lapin is usually cooked with prunes and onions or in a mustard sauce, while my favorite coniglio recipe is Sicilian and is basically a spicy hunter's sauce with green olives.

                                          1. re: teezeetoo

                                            I do a spicy rabbit cacciatore with cappacolo and chunks of fresh artichoke hearts.

                                            1. re: teezeetoo

                                              You mean similar to the cold hacked up rabbit, right, not the hot dish in a pool of delicious hot broth?

                                              I've had that in Brookline and it was even worse than the rest of the food I've had there--as opposed to the northern one which has been uniformly excellent for many visits over years. I seem to recall some food blogger (Kenji maybe) got that dish with still-frozen rabbit chunks.

                                              1. re: KWagle

                                                I used to love that Sichuan Garden cold rabbit dish (at least 10 years ago), it had a bit of fruitiness from I could never figure out what, but when I had it again a few years back it wasn't nearly as good. In any case it's not the same as the Chilli Garden version (excellent, though yes bones), which involves bean paste.

                                                1. re: Aromatherapy

                                                  will have to try the one at Chilli Garden. I really love rabbit in any form as long as it isn't overcooked to deadly dryness.

                                                  1. re: teezeetoo

                                                    That was an issue with the Sichuan Garden version, IIRC.

                                          2. Bistro 5 in Medford has braised rabbit on the menu.

                                            1. Marliave has rabbit on their menu. When I was there it was rabbit three ways which was quite good. I see now their menu says prosciutto wrapped tenderloin.

                                              1. I've had good Rabbit at Prezza, Sportello, Petit Robert, Marliave and Erbaluce to name a few.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: phatchris

                                                  On Prezza's menu: Potato Gnocchi, rabbit ragout, white wine, mustard, pecorino cheese

                                                2. A Tavola in Winchester has a gnocchi with braised rabbit (and broccoli rabe pesto) on its menu.

                                                  1. I've had a delicious pappardelle with rabbit ragu at Bergamot, but their menu is constantly changing so best to give them a call first to see if it's available.

                                                    1. Estragon currently has a rabbit stew on its menu: very simple, very nice.

                                                      O Senhor Ramos used to do a divine Azorean-style rabbit stew with white wine and herbs, but I haven't been back in years, and have heard here that it just isn't the same since an ownership change after Bourdain visited.

                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                      1. This is not useful, but the first time I had rabbit was at Gramercy Park in NYC and it was a revelation! So not feeling the 'what's the point, tastes like chicken' camp.

                                                        1. I've only had it Sichuan style and seen it whole and frozen at markets like Salem Foods in Waltham. Butchering a rabbit is a lot trickier than a chicken, that is for sure. How you prep and cook it tends to be different than chicken so i would say the taste is distinct but familiar. Maybe something like going from chilean seabass to swordfish in terms of difference.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: tatsu

                                                            I find butchering a rabbit much easier, quicker, and cleaner than butchering a chicken....not to mention quieter if you are starting with live chicken.

                                                            1. re: tatsu

                                                              I've butchered chickens and a groundhog. The groundhog wasn't hard at all, the chickens were easier but a LOT messier.

                                                              1. re: KWagle

                                                                Did you eat the groundhog? How was it? I have a particular on in mind that I'd devour with relish and glee, if only we could catch the bugger.

                                                                1. re: Aromatherapy

                                                                  Sadly I didn't. I was visiting friends in Indiana, it was in the havahart trap (the trap has a heart, Bill doesn't) and he was going to just kill it and bury it in the garden. I wanted to eat it, but we killed it two days before a big dance weekend we were both helping to run, and then it sat in a freezer for 16 months and eventually Bill tossed it because he needed the freezer space back.

                                                                  1. re: KWagle

                                                                    Widely eaten in Ghana.

                                                            2. I saw it on the menu this past weekend at Solstice in Kingston!

                                                              1. 80 Thoureau in Concird