For Lunch Today was one of the most popular series on Blackened Out way back in the day when we only had 4 readers instead of our current 5. (Thanks, mom.) And then one day, like so many critically acclaimed series which came before it - Bromance, The Playboy Club, and Man Up, to name a few - For Lunch Today just up and disappeared. never to be heard of again...
Until now... at least for today... maybe this just one time... we'll see how it goes.
In the days before the Saints playoff game against the Lions and the BCS Championship game (I apologize for opening old wounds), the newest addition to John Besh's empire quietly opened in the bottom of the Hyatt Hotel. Now the secret is out, as evidenced by my attempt to secure reservations this past Saturday night, when the only tables available were at 5:30 or 10:00. Despite my recent rejection, I have been able to snag a table at Borgne on 4 previous occasions, and I will write more about those in a longer review sometime in the next few weeks. But today's post is about lunch, and all that you need is two words: rabbit ragout.
Borgne offers a $10 daily lunch special on every day of the week. I have tasted a few and have been mostly pleased. But the hands down, best daily special available - perhaps the best dish on the entire menu - is the Wednesday special of rabbit ragout. Either I or someone at my table has ordered it on multiple opportunities, and each time the dish had me lapping up the bowl. Kind of awkward when it was not my bowl to begin with, but hey it happens.
The foundation of the dish is a reduced stock (a combination of pork/shrimp or chicken/shrimp, I can't remember) which provides immense flavor. So often I find myself fishing out the substance of a dish like this and leaving behind a sad and empty pool of tepid broth. Nothing could be further from the truth in this case. The main components are chunks of ground rabbit sausage and tender orecchiette pasta. The composed dish has sort of an Italian/Cajun thing going with the anise from the ground rabbit sausage, the sweetness from cherry tomatoes, and bitterness from strands of broccoli rabe. The plate is finished with a few sprigs of fresh herbs and slivers of parm which bring a nice nutty component. This dish has the whole package.
Do yourself a favor. Resolve to starve yourself tomorrow by skipping lunch and saving the $5 that would have gone toward your footlong lunch. Take that $5 and the other $5 which is earmarked for lunch today, go to Borgne, and order the rabbit ragout. You can post your thank you's in the comments this afternoon.