Call them hare-raising experiences in all the right ways. From pastas and sausage to whole-roasted, chefs have got their game on when it comes to this savory but lean protein. Earthy and deep, savory yet light enough for summer, it’s time to try hunting for rabbit dishes at these hangouts.
Kachka, Portland, Oregon
There’s a reason the rabbit in a clay pot is one of Kachka’s bestsellers. This signature dish from chef/co-owner Bonnie Morales features hare hindquarters braised in smetana (housemade Russian sour cream), with porcini mushrooms, sour cherries, and garlic. It arrives in a flourish nested inside a clay pot, served with draniki (potato pancakes) on the side. Make a reservation at Kachka.
The Civic, Toronto, Ontario
Traditional dishes executed with modern techniques are the hallmark of The Civic, and the whole-roasted rabbit courtesy of chefs John Sinopoli and Bryant Wigger does not disappoint. The coniglio porchetta is a whole-roasted rabbit rolled with a traditional Italian rub including fennel, black pepper, and rosemary, then served with a mint and pistachio salsa verde. Wigger first had the dish at a mom-and-pop shop in Civita di Bagnoregio, a one-road-in and one-road-out town in central Italy. Make a reservation at The Civic.
Upstairs at The Gwen, Chicago, Illinois
Forget the avocado toast! Executive chef Matt Jergens’ menu features eye-popping color and an eclectic menu of elevated street food inspired by his international travels. The rabbit confit toast includes country bread topped with hare confit and purple potato, and it’s garnished with chili, radish, and a charred lemon—a virtual rainbow on a plate. Make a reservation at Upstairs at The Gwen.
BRABO Brasserie, Alexandria, Virginia
It may be a starter but the carrot velouté with rabbit confit will leave you wanting more. Executive chef Sebastien Rondier tops Amish rabbit confit with a few of Peter Cottontail’s favorites — shaved radishes and baby carrots — for a traditional European fusion dish that goes well with a long Belgian beer list. Make a reservation at BRABO Brasserie.
Donetto, Atlanta, Georgia
Tuscany meets Georgia at Donetto, new to Atlanta’s West Side. Executive chef Elliot Cusher can’t pass up an opportunity for true Italian cuisine, with housemade tagliatelle, tender braised rabbit, firm and meaty Cerignola olives, rosemary, Madeira, and dried white sultana grapes. Make a reservation at Donetto.