Last week I had a pleasant meal at Rendezvous in Central Square, a place that has reliably seasonal menus and art on the walls. I was feeling a bit less than 100% so I chose the vegetable bollito misto (a Piedmontese boiled dinner, this one featuring polenta, fava beans, cheese and mushrooms) even though I was craving the Gascon duck three ways (grilled breast, confit leg and garlic sausage). I won't regale you with all the details of the meal, but we also enjoyed grilled sardines with lemon and fried parsley, roast chicken with chanterelles, corn and green beans, and an impressive warm chocolate cake with cinnamon cream.
I was still thinking about the duck that got away - three ways, actually - when I stumbled upon an article in The Weekly Dig about the Fall game hunting seasons, complete with dates and recommended local dishes.
The Dig recommends EVOO, Rendezvous and Bokx 109 for duck dishes. Two down, one to go. For rabbit, they suggest Marliave, Toro and the Publick House - I'm just one for three on those. So I've got my work cut out. If you want to take matters into your own hands, be sure to observe these dates:
Duck season: Wed 10.15.08–Sat 11.29.08 and Fri 12.12.08–Sat 1.03.09 (Berkshire); Tue 10.14.08–Sat 11.29.08 and Mon 12.15.08–Mon 1.05.09 (Central); Fri 10.17.08–Sat 10.25.08 and Wed 11.26.08–Sat 1.24.09 (Coastal)
Rabbit season: Sat 10.18.08–Sat 2.28.09 (cottontail); Sat 11.15.08–Wed 12.31.08 (jackrabbit); Sat 10.18.08–Thu 2.05.09 (snowshoe hare)
From this we can deduce that here in Eastern Massachusetts, from October 18 through 25 and November 26 through January 24, it's both duck season and rabbit season, a time period during which it's entirely possible to have a spirited argument about whether it's rabbit season or duck season. Have you figured out where this is leading yet? Well, here it is.
Welcome to autumn, and happy hunting everybody.