To celebrate our anniversary, my guy and I went to Artisanale (in Guelph) for dinner. I had never been to Artisanale before, but what I'd heard was mostly positive. The only negative remarks were made about portion size and price - portions being too small and prices, too high. But the food is all locally sourced, sustainable grown and, quite often, organic. Best of all, everything is handcrafted. Wednesdays and Thursdays they offer a prix fixe menu - 3 courses for $27. I've learned over time not to get too excited about a place, since often they do not live up to my high expectations. I must say, Artisinale was a pleasant surprise.
To start I ordered a glass of red wine. Our server brought it out with some fresh baked bread (baked in-house), sliced radishes and butter. We nibbled away while looking over the menu. I decided on a chicken liver pate to start, followed by a rabbit cacciatore dish, and dessert, which was to be decided after the meal.
The pate was delicious. Light and fluffy with subtle flavours. It was served with thinly sliced, toasted bread. It didn't last long. Since I had never tried rabbit before, I was really excited about the next course. I'm surprised, actually, that I haven't tried rabbit, being from a family full of hunters. I hoped that it would live up to my expectations.
When it arrived, its presentation was beautiful - so much so that I almost didn't want to touch it. The rabbit was carefully laid on a bed of pappardelle pasta and covered in a rich tomato sauce. Its aroma was heavenly. The first bite practically melted in my mouth. The rabbit was so tender, it just fell off the bone. I cannot express in words how much I loved that dish. I did not ask them where they got the rabbit, but I will be calling them back to find out. I'm going to have to try a recipe at home.
If you have not tried rabbit before, you may be understandably squeamish. If you can get past the fact that the rabbits are cute, fluffy and might make for a good pet, then you're in for a treat. I learned to get over that a long time ago. A delicious treat, I can't wait to eat rabbit again.
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