Hop Along to These Haute Cuisine Spots

Beginning Feb. 3 is the Year of the Rabbit (signifying luck, tactfulness and thoughtfulness) and there are a lot of yummy goings-on that may or may not have to do with the special occasion.
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Leopold's smoked rabbit entree comes with mustard spaetzle, caramelized fennel, onions and duchesse prune glaze. (Photo Courtesy of Huge Galdones of galdonesphotography.com)

We've seen more rabbit-focused dishes this season than ever before, but could it be a coincidence?!

Beginning Feb. 3 is The Year of the Rabbit (signifying luck, tactfulness and thoughtfulness)--for the Chinese New Year--and there are a lot of yummy goings-on that may or may not have to do with the special occasion.

Sunda, the celebrity-infested resto in River North, is doing its annual homage to the Chinese New Year, but sadly there will be no rabbit on the menu.

From Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, they're doing a special, family-style menu that's $40 per person. Some of the featured dishes include hot and sour soup; a dim sum duet of shrimp or vegetable spring rolls and sticky rice; ruby prawns in a secret glaze; and beef short ribs in a black pepper sauce and accompanied by broccolini. Dessert is included in the meal.

Guests who make reservations at 7pm Feb. 3 will be entertained by live performances of the "dragon dance." It's to bring good fortune to all.

You can also celebrate The Year of the Rabbit by chowing down on these rabbit dishes elsewhere:

Bistrot Zinc: Through the end of the month, the cozy, Gold Coast French bistro is doing braised rabbit that's bathed in a sauce made from veal stock, white wine, onions, carrots, celery, garlic and thyme. It's served atop a bed of egg noodles and baby carrots.

Ceres Table: Head to Edgewater for rabbit done Italian style: Executive Chef Giuseppe Scurato pairs a Gunthrop Farm rabbit leg with sweet potato gnocchi, cabbage, rabbit confit, sherry wine vinegar and thyme sauce.

Frontier: You'll have to wait until Feb. 10 to get a taste of chef Brian Jupiter's latest menu featuring many game dishes. Frontier's owned by the same team behind Lottie's and The Pony Inn, and we cannot wait for brunch. Jupiter's putting fried rabbit and waffles on the menu. Whaaaaaaaa.

Leopold: Now that the Belgian-inspired eatery in West Town has gotten its liquor license, it's going to be even harder to get in (they don't accept resevations). But it'll be worth the wait just for the smoked rabbit entree. It comes with mustard spaetzle, caramelized fennel, onions and duchesse prune glaze and pairs wells with a number of featured German and Belgian beers.

Phoenix: Chinatown's doing its big celebratory dinner on Feb. 9. Festivities include a cocktail reception, silent auction, live auction and specially prepared New Year dishes. The $75 tickets may be purchased here. Benefits the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. 6-9pm.

Saigon Sisters: And revelers may also officially celebrate The Year of the Rabbit here with Asian street food. They're doing the Bunny Bao, fresh steamed buns filled with rabbit confit, pickled grilled scallions, pickled diakon/carrot, jalapeno and cilantro. Guests will be able to order the bao as well as Rabbit Roulade (shiitake mushrooms, anise spiked orange, Benton's ham broth, Chinese long beans and frisée) Feb. 3-12.

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