The thought of eating rabbit brought visions of the famous scene from Fatal Attraction, where the maddened Glenn Close devilishly boils the pet bunny of Michael Douglas. My second thought? He kind of deserved it. Mr. Douglas, not the bunny. Luckily, there would be no boiling tonight, for this rabbit was braised and I am not a crazed psychopath…not today anyway.
We were celebrating Valentines Day, two days early (the sacrifices of being a restaurant owner), at Tra Vigne in St. Helena. They sat us on the veranda overlooking the wine country courtyard. Fairy tale worthy. Why do these chefs always tempt me by putting strange food on their menus, especially on a special occasion where there’s a shot in hell for romance? Maybe eating rabbit, lambs tongue and scrapple can be the new sexy. Using my best manipulative skills, I convinced my husband to order the braised rabbit ragu over pappardelle. This would allow me to have the new experience of eating bunny, while still being able to order a backup meal just in case Bugs didn’t agree with me. Sneaky!
The braised rabbit was served over a delicate, sage-infused pappardelle and tossed with woodsy wild mushrooms. I had the hubby go in for the first bite to warn me of what was to be expected and, after his hefty forkful, he insisted that I would approve. I studied his eyes to see if I was being pranked, but he was staring directly into mine and not doing the shady side to side look. My first mouthful was tasty, not like chicken, more like duck. Then the second bite came. Being more secure, it was a larger bunny bite and as I chewed something clinked between my teeth. Aw…please don’t be a bunny bone. It was a bunny bone. I am not sure why eating animal flesh is so much more appealing than eating a bone, but it is. At that point I threw up the white flag, or napkin in this case, and surrendered.