At the Deer and the Dove, the chefs make the most of their ingredients, using varying techniques. An exciting example of the restaurant’s nose-to-tail cuisine — making use of the entire animal — is the superb rabbit loin with spaetzle.
Chef Terry Koval procures whole rabbits from Rabbit Man Farms for his buttermilk-fried rabbit legs. The loins are served atop a tangle of light, sage spaetzle, which has a springy chew. The mild, delicate meat first is cooked sous vide, then goes into the restaurant’s wood-fired oven, where it takes on smoky flavor and is basted with butter and fresh thyme. It’s cooked until it is tender and browned.
A simple kale puree that is verdant and vibrant also dots the plate, with local beet greens adding a mild, earthy element to the mix. The surface of the dumpling-like spaetzle is ideal for soaking up the lush red wine jus.
The kitchen also uses the rabbit liver in a country terrine and rabbit rillettes on charcuterie boards. Each bit of the animal is celebrated and shines brightly.
The Deer and the Dove. 155 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-748-4617, deerdove.com
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