Creme De La Creme

Dozen Best Restaurants For Rabbit

Although its popularity is increasing all the time, rabbit is still not thought of as a mainstream menu item by most diners. (Or restaurants, for that matter.) The number of restaurants that keep it on the menu is around two dozen. They tend to be good restaurants to begin with, if only for the reason that rabbit is not as easy to find in the market as, say, chicken. This list includes the best of those, along with restaurants with terrific rabbit specials.

1. Brigtsen’s. Riverbend: 723 Dante. 504-861-7610. Rabbit tenderloin with Creole mustard sauce is not always around for an appetizer, but is good when it is. always around. Panneed and roasted rabbit are more often available.

2. Bayona. French Quarter: 430 Dauphine. 504-525-4455. Italian-stuffed rabbit roulade and panneed leg, sauteed escarole, wild mushrooms. This is the lustiest dish on the menu here, standing out among subtleties.

Rabbit three ways at Le Foret.

3. Le Foret. CBD: 129 Camp. 504-553-6738. Rabbit three ways (rack, leg, tenderloin). The rack is something to see. It almost looks like a toy.

4. Olivier’s Creole Restaurant. French Quarter: 204 Decatur. 504-525-7734. A real down-home version: braised rabbit with oyster dressing. Very, very Creole, and a signature dish.

5. Patois. Uptown: 6078 Laurel. 504-895-9441. Fennel crusted rabbit is a variation on panneed bunny, and deliciously light and crusty. Especially if you have a taste for anise.

6. New Orleans Food & Spirits. Harvey: 2330 Lapalco Blvd. 504-362-0800. Bucktown: 210 Hammond Hwy. 504-828-2220. Covington: 208 Lee Lane. 985-875-0432. All three locations features as their Thursday special a spectacular half-rabbit, roasted down to generate an explosively-flavored Cajun-style gravy and white beans. It is so popular that they frequently run out, so go early.

7. K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen. French Quarter: 416 Chartres. 504-524-7394. Rabbit turns up often on the ever-changing menu. A regular item is the pan-fried rabbit tenderloin with Creole mustard sauce.

8. Le Meritage. French Quarter: 1001 Toulouse. 504-522-8800. It’s the marvelously white and tender rabbit tenderloin, with tagliatelle pasta and pancetta. Good in the appetizer size, but you could also have it as an entree.

9. La Petite Grocery. Uptown: 4238 Magazine. 504-891-3377. Panneed rabbit, wilted spinach, spaetzle, brown butter. . . a great light entree.

10. Jacques-Imo’s. Riverbend: 8324 Oak. 504-861-0886. They cook rabbit several ways here, but this is the tenderest. And richest, with the roasted pepper grits and. . . hollandaise?

11. Ristorante Da Piero. Kenner: 401 Williams Blvd. 504-469-8585. Rabbit is coniglio in Italian, and the people from Bologna–as Piero is–like to cook it. The sauce is a rabbit demi-glace with sage and Madiera, with rosemary focaccia.

12. Commander’s Palace. Garden District: 1403 Washington Ave. 504-899-8221. Rabbit at Commander’s is more often than not a special, and so the details of the dish is unpredictable. But they have a guy who raises rabbits especially for them. A very safe bet.


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