Easter is upon us, and while most associate this holiday with candy and brunch, there's more to Easter eating than Cadbury and mimosas. Like rabbit and carrots, for instance. Here are several spots in Chicago cooking up tasty renditions of these two most apropos ingredients.
Frontier (1072 N Milwaukee Ave)
Eating rabbit around Easter might be a little morbid for kids who associate the holiday with mythical bunnies, but it's hard to resist a succulent rabbit dish from some of Chicago's top dining destinations. You've heard of chicken and waffles, but how about rabbit and waffles. Following the same comfort food formula, Frontier gets whimsical with its Southern-style fried rabbit, served alongside a cornmeal waffle at brunch with spiced pear butter and habanero maple syrup.
Bottlefork (441 N Clark St)
Apparently rabbit is the stuff of Southern-style comfort food dreams, because it's the star of another pan-fried indulgence at River North's new Bottlefork. Situated on the "knife + fork" portion of the booze-friendly menu, the buttermilk fried rabbit leg comes with country sausage gravy and pickled corn and okra relish.
Henri (18 S Michigan Ave)
Before it gets too warm, you'll want to take advantage of Henri's rabbit cassoulet. Likely the most decadent interpretation of rabbit, cassoulet is a heady stew comprised of the meat in various forms, from sausage to rabbit confit, studded with bacon, favas, and heirloom beans.
Rootstock (954 N California Ave)
On the other side of the spring-y coin, there's carrots. Rabbits love to eat them and so will you. Especially when they are front-and-center on a plate like the buttered carrots at Rootstock. The Humboldt Park wine and beer bar has a knack for seasonal cookery and atypical presentations, like these carrots laced with curried black walnuts, charred spring onions, and pickled turmeric.
Franks N Dawgs (1863 N Clybourn Ave)
Pickled carrot slivers are a prominent player on the adventurous sausage menu at Franks N Dawgs. The acidic, crisp carrots serve to balance out some of the decadent sausages and rich buns, like the Tur-Doggin, a turkey and date sausage with crispy duck confit and pickled carrots, or the Muscles from Brussels sausage made with bratwurst, Brussels sprouts leaves, pancetta, pretzel crumbs, balsamic, and pickled carrots.
Floriole Cafe & Bakery (1220 W Webster Ave)
And for dessert, you can't go wrong with carrot cake. The classic is alive and well at Floriole Cafe & Bakery, which just added the carrot-filled, cream cheese-frosted cake to its menu.
Photos: Frontier and Franks N Dawgs