If you can get the Easter bunny out of your head, there’s good reason to make rabbit a regular part of your diet. Not only is it more easily digestible, as well as lower in cholesterol, calories, and fat than most other proteins, but rabbits—which notoriously reproduce in epic numbers in the spring—have a much smaller carbon footprint than cows and pigs, maturing quickly and requiring little in the way of food (they’re mostly foragers) and space. So while it used to be that you could only reliably find rabbit at Park Slope’s al di la, lean and green bunnies—be they braised, baked, or fried—have fast proliferated in the kitchens of Brooklyn’s sustainably minded restaurants.
Under Sara Kramer, Glasserie quickly became known for its large format rabbit feasts—and while no longer on the menu, it’s evident that current chef, Eldad Shem Tov, still nurtures a passion for the lean protein, with modern Mediterranean constructs like rabbit kohlrabi tacos—rounds of thinly shaved root veggie supporting strands of harissa-imbued meat.
95 Commercial Street, Greenpoint
Blueprint may be best known as a cocktail bar, but its food offerings extend far beyond your average meat and cheese plates. Consider pairing robust, herbaceous libations like Negronis and Sazeracs with individually portioned rabbit pot pies, cradling confit meat and oyster mushrooms beneath their poufs of puff pastry.
196 5th Avenue, Park Slope
A refined play on coneje escabeche—stuffed rabbit loin poached in sweet onion vinaigrette, accented with olives, saffron and prunes—this dish perfectly encapsulates La Vara’s unique Moorish/Jewish/Spanish tapas concept.
268 Clinton Street, Cobble Hill
With its firm flesh and mild flavor, rabbit can more than stand up to the heat of Maite’s chile-emboldened ragu, slumped over hand-torn scraps of toothsome maltagliati.
159 Central Avenue, Bushwick
A Bay Ridge shrine to beer-soused, Bavarian-styled excess, this bi-level tavern offers eight types of pounded cutlets, and even more variations on wurst; we’re talking classic pork and veal, yes, but also wild boar, Armagnac-duck, venison-cherry, and slim links of rabbit, vivified with flecks of fresh ginger.
7319 5th Avenue, Bay Ridge
As enduringly under-the-radar as its Brooklyn Heights sibling, Noodle Pudding, this cash-only DUMBO trattoria serves the same caliber of straightforward, conscientiously prepared Italian eats, including supple joints of red wine-braised bunny, criss-crossed over creamy polenta, that gives al di la’s signature rabbit dish a real run for its money.
111 Front Street, DUMBO
Sweet, yielding rabbit is a usual subject when it comes to ragu, teamed with wide, welcoming streamers of eggy pappardelle. But French Louie’s rustic pasta dish is sui generis—featuring both leg confit and house-made sausage, scattered with pistachio gremolata and acerbic stalks of broccoli rabe.
320 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill
Black Tree Brooklyn
Showcasing a different whole animal each week, Briar Patch and Whiskey Hill-farmed rabbits are often on Black Tree’s menu, butchered in-house and transformed into a succession of inspired creations, such as pan-fried belly bao, kidney and heart tacos, rabbit katsu ramen, braised trotter spring rolls, whole foreleg “wings” with honey and hot sauce, and buttermilk-marinated loin, teamed with chevrotin cheese, micro greens and a sunny side-up egg.
261 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg