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Fried Rabbit at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, with black pepper, honey, and lemon. 53 Great Jones Street, 212-837-2622
What’s traditional for Easter? A baked ham shaken from a can, possibly topped with some canned pineapple? Or, maybe if you’re lucky, a roast leg of lamb, probably done to a cinder — lamb symbolizes Christ, so I don’t know why you’d want to eat him, ahem. Is there any other way?
Rabbit Hearts on toothpicks at Porsena. A special one evening — but I bet you can get it if you call ahead. 21 East 7th Street, 212-228-4923
Indeed there is. Why not just eat bunny, another animal rich in Easter symbolism? Bunny has everything that chicken does not: firm, shapely legs, meat with a little more taste, and a more muscular texture. This baby has worked out! And a skin every bit as fry-able (if not friable) as yardbird.
What’s more, bunny is a faddish ingredient currently on the rise in city bistros, versatile and slightly exotic. Above and below are six recent encounters Fork in the Road has had with bunny at area restaurants.
Coniglio alla Cacciatore at Zero Otto Nove, in a rich, herb-laden “hunter’s sauce.” 15 East 21st Street, 212-242-0899
Rabbit livers with homemade tartare sauce at Hospoda. 321 East 73rd Street, 212-861-1038
Empellón Cocina’s rabbit with shiitake-poblano stuffing and green chorizo gravy. 105 First Avenue, 212-780-0999
Buttermilk fried rabbit at Fatty ‘Cue, served with a green lemon shaker. 50 Carmine Street, 212-929-5050