June is foodie heaven in Hawke's Bay even if you have missed out on getting tickets to the F.A.W.C! event you wanted to attend.
This is your chance to try something different. Dining out in Hawke's Bay has a F.A.W.C! flavour for the month with participating restaurants offering "F.A.W.C! by 5" menu specials in multiples of $5, totalling no more than $50 per person.
I had the pleasure of trying Mister D's F.A.W.C! by 5 Rabbit Jigsaw. This consists of five dishes you can mix and match, or take five for $25.
I was greeted at the Napier restaurant by Dan Tosswill. He and his wife are business partners with Mister D himself - David Griffiths - and his partner Prue Barton.
I had never eaten rabbit so was unsure what to expect. I had all five dishes to make up the complete jigsaw. The dish looked incredible.
The "jigsaw" comprised:
Mushroom and olive raviolo
Crispy rabbit rillette, cumin, coriander, fennel seed spiced
Roasted rabbit leg, prosciutto wrapped
Rosemary roasted baby carrots, carrot puree
Te Mata olives, olive jus, olive pearls
The carrots just melted in my mouth, the roasted rabbit leg was tender and soft. the crispy rabbit was just that, crispy and tasty, the puree was smooth and creamy, the olives an excellent accompaniment adding a little salty hit. I couldn't decide which was my favourite, and then I tasted the mushroom and olive raviolo. What word can I use to best describe this, perhaps sensational would do the trick.
I went from one to the other, savouring the taste of each but thoroughly enjoying how it all worked so well together. After all, what else would you put with rabbit but carrots?
Tom said it was the first year they had been involved with Winter F.A.W.C! and they decided to take part because "they wanted to support the event".
Chef David said he had wanted to do something quirky with rabbit for a long time. "We do have a limited supply of wild rabbit but the farmed meat is delicious.
"Rabbit is something you don't often see on menus so I thought we would have a bit of fun with it.
"You can build your own dish. If you want to have three roasted rabbit legs that's fine."
I would recommend you try the lot. Fabulous.
Restaurants offering specials include The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Mint, Mamacita, Emporium Eatery & Bar, Mister D, Diva Bistro & Bar, Pernel Kitchen, Pacifica, Shed 2, Te Awa, Mexi Mama, Thirsty Whale, Ten Twenty Four, Mahia St.Kitchen, Hep Set Mooch, Westshore Beach Inn, Clearview Estate Winery Restaurant and St.George's Restaurant.