year of the rabbit

I have never eaten rabbit.  I’ve petted one.  Had a foot dangle from a key chain.  Dressed as one for Halloween.  I even had a fur coat  of one (but that was a gift a long time ago, and one I think I’ve worn only once).  I’ve always been curious if it does, in fact, taste like chicken.  Or rattlesnake.  Or alligator.  All of which I have eaten.  So when the opportunity presented itself to me a few nights ago at The Monk’s Kettle I hopped on it, so to speak.  My pre-dinner drink was a Ken & Jack’s barleywine – hearty, dark and strong – a drink that  I had originally intended to order to go with their famous burger until I saw rabbit on the menu.  When I asked our waiter what beer would go best with the rabbit, he replied that I had the perfect beer for it.   Glancing down at my menu, I noticed the beer pairing listed for the rabbit was either a hefeweizen, Belgium pale, or ESB – pours that would go great with a white meat, as in chicken.  This did not bode well for our waiter’s beer knowledge but I persevered and ordered rabbit anyway, barleywine or not.

The menu said, “Buttermilk fried rabbit, house sauerkraut, apple mostarda.”  What came on the plate was something not unlike chicken mcnuggets with a side of chutney.   I don’t know what I was expecting, but was very underwhelmed with the taste of the meat.  It looked like chicken but tasted more like a cross between a bland chicken breast and pork tenderloin.    My friend did order the “three day ale bricked chicken, cranberry beans and harissa.”  He sliced a piece of his chicken, offering it to me and after tasting it, he must’ve seen the look of envy in my face since he sliced another larger piece for me.  That chicken was really good.

Well, at least I can proudly check off  “rabbit” on my food bucket list.

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