Executive chef Payton Curry planned the menu for this Easter service, which includes such rabbit-enriched dishes as carrot soup with a crispy rabbit confit, ravioli of rabbit, prosciutto-wrapped rabbit leg and, my favorite, rabbit liver mousse crostini. And, of course, no self-respecting fuzzy bunny meal would be complete without a classic carrot cake for dessert.
Not surprisingly, the restaurant has been getting a lot of complaints from people who don't have anything better to do. One person called and wished Payton a slow and painful death. A rabbit is "so good-natured and funny and loving," says Doreen O'Connell, a volunteer at the Brambly Hedge Rabbit Rescue in Phoenix, "how could someone eat it?"
The outcry over the dinner got so loud that the owners of the restaurant put out a press release promising that these rabbits did not come from the local PetSmart or the happy hands of children. Payton got the furry, nibbling monsters from an all-natural free-range farm that raises them in humane, if not human, conditions.
Payton so believes in the quality of his food that he routinely visits the farms. In fact, he says, he recently helped a cow in distress.
Hopefully by turning it into steak!