Is Bunny the New Bird in NYC?

Rabbit ragu served with pappardelle at French newcomer Le Midi

Not to be outdone, area Sichuan restaurants have hunted down the hopper. Lan Sheng tenders a rabbit with pickled chiles in Midtown on 39th Street - a favorite lunchtime haunt of office workers - while Lower East Side Fujianese spots have long braised every bunny they can find in red-wine lees. In this vein, the version of lichee rabbit at Food World is more than worth chasing into the hutch.

Just last night, rabbit meatballs were spotted as a special at Monument Lane, where the menu also lists braised rabbit with herbed spaetzle and hedgehog mushrooms.

But by far the most rabbit intensive menu so far has occurred recently at Swine, a West Village boite that took over the old Rubyfruit space. You can begin with a rabbit-and-mushroom terrine and a handful of rabbit croquettes, then proceed to the wonderful bacon-braised rabbit leg, served on a bed of pillowy polenta.

Really, the question is no longer where can you find rabbit, but, if a restaurant doesn't have hare, why not?

Rabbit croquettes at Swine

Follow me on Twitter if you dare -- @robertsietsema

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