The Easter bunny, candy-filled baskets, and pastel eggs are all good ways to celebrate Easter. Chowing down on rabbit is another.
Lean, nutritious, and climate-friendly, rabbit usually offers a tasty departure from industrial meat. Unfortunately, it isn’t common on menus.
Across Boston, a handful of restaurants offer rabbit-filled dishes year-round, from tender rabbit and pasta jeweled with briny Italian olives to saucy stewed rabbit ladled next to fluffy white rice. Since menus usually change often, check with the restaurant ahead of time if you’re set on a specific dish.
As always, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org a line if we’ve missed a good one.
This approachable Barbara Lynch restaurant serves rustic strozzapreti pasta with braised rabbit, picholine olives, and rosemary in a pristine, minimalist setting. A small open kitchen offers a glimpse of the action without turning the whole affair into kitchen theater. (348 Congress Street, Boston)
This romantic tapas restaurant in Somerville serves drumettes of rabbit braised in red wine with juniper and garlic in a color-soaked room filled with knickknacks, including a clothesline full of lingerie. This decades-old cafe is as jovial as they come. (415 Washington Street, Somerville)
Chef and owner Asia Mei, who happens to be a former stuntwoman, serves tender, braised rabbit with campanelle pasta, roasted squash, candied and spiced hazelnuts, cream sauce, and aged balsamic vinegar in this cozy restaurant space known equally for globetrotting menu items ranging from hit vegetarian dishes and “naughty hangover cures,” in addition to this luxurious rabbit dish. (152 Dorchester Avenue, Boston)
Situated in a stunning 19th-century row house overlooking Boston, this 50-year old mecca of rich, northern Italian cooking serves a Vermont farm rabbit in a tangle of pappardelle pasta, crispy pancetta, and fresh rosemary. (3 North Square, Boston)
At this burgundy-hued tapas restaurant in Brookline, lauded chef Deborah Hansen has a few renditions of rabbit. One is simmered with leeks, fresh herbs, and mushrooms before meeting a plate of fluffy white rice. The other gets a lift from orange and cinnamon and a crunch from almonds. Check which she’s firing before heading over. (999 Beacon Street, Brookline)
The satisfying rabbit dish served in the storied dining room at Forcella, Italian for “fork,” barely needs one. Rabbit is braised until its tender and served with roasted carrot, broth singing with marjoram, and little pillows of gnocchi. (33 North Square, Boston)
With multiple locations (all with lengthy menus), it’s helpful to know that the Worcester location is the one with the rabbit at the moment. The current dish, conejo asado lento, combines slow-roasted rabbit with white wine, rosemary Dijon jus, carrot, mushrooms, and chickpeas. Just check in with the various locations to find out which version is available and where. (82 Winter Street, Worcester)