They’re not about to displace the pig as New York’s culinary mascot, but suddenly rabbits are everywhere—from Bar Blanc in the West Village, where they do double duty on chef César Ramirez’s menu, as an appetizer and as a pasta (see Adam Platt’s review), to Bar Boulud on the Upper West Side, where they make an appearance in a toothsome Provençal terrine. So popular are the floppy-eared herbivores (not to be confused with hares, and technically not rodents, but close), that Ariane Daguin, of gourmet game purveyor D’Artagnan, has had to ramp up production at the Arkansas farm cooperative that raises them for her. “The huge increase in demand caught me by surprise,” she says. “Thank God they multiply.” Here’s where to find the little wascals.
37 E. 28th St., nr. Park Ave. S.; 212-213-2328
Alex Ureña makes the best (if not the only) rabbit sandwich in town—braised, pulled bunny with guindilla peppers on goat-cheese-and-truffle-butter-slicked focaccia carefully smooshed in the presser.
928 Broadway, nr. 22nd St.; 212-780-5100
These braised legs done Bari style in beef bouillon, white-wine vinegar, onion, raisins, and pine nuts are so surprisingly meaty you wonder whether the rabbits were mistaken for Wagyu cattle and accidentally fed a diet of Sapporo beer between massages.
116 E. 16th St., nr. Irving Pl.; 212-254-1600
Despite a hard-to-shake association with Thumper, the Easter Bunny, and the Pets or Meat? scene in Michael Moore’s Roger & Me, more American restaurants like Irving Mill are getting in on the bunny act. John Schaefer serves it with garlic sausage, roasted shallots, black olives, and a potato purée.
156 Tenth Ave., at 20th St.; 212-924-4440
An early proponent of the trend, Marc Meyer gets his rabbits from an upstate breeder and even offers the remarkably tender kidneys skewered and grilled as a pre-appetizer snack. The other parts get the rotisserie treatment and come with creamy mustard sauce and fingerling potatoes.