You can probably name at least a dozen New York restaurants where scoring a table requires a wait measured in weeks, if not months. But how many can you name that serve a dish that is no less hard to come by?
Such a dish is Rajasthani khargosh. It appears on the menu of Dhamaka, which is likely one of the restaurants you named where reservations are as scarce as hens’ teeth. The dish appears in all caps, bordered by stars. It is described simply as “whole rabbit, yogurt, cloves.” The price, $190, seems astronomical until you read the accompanying paragraph, which explains that it serves 3 to 4, which makes it merely pricey by today’s standards. That text also advises that the rabbit is available on a first come, first served basis and that only one copy is made per day.
The Rajasthani khargosh is so hard to come by that even Times critic Pete Wells was unable to bag an order, lamenting, “Twice I tried to order it, two days ahead of time as required, and each time I was told I hadn’t been quick enough to catch the rabbit.”
Dhamaka is one of three new Indian restaurants, along with Adda and Semma, opened this year by a trio of pals originally from the sub-continent who set out to redefine Indian food as New Yorkers know it. They describe their style of cooking, which explores ancestral traditions and previously untapped regions of India, as “Unapologetic Indian.”
In the meantime, if anybody out there is able to get their hands on one of these precious stewed rabbits, let the rest of us know how it is.