Lionless $160 Menu Draws Few Protesters to Wichita Dinner

A lion at the Entabeni Safari Conservancy in Limpopo, just northeast of Johannesburg. Lion has been removed from the menu of exotic restaurant Taste and See, following protests from animal-rights groups. Photographer: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/GettyImages via Bloomberg

The lions slept Tuesday night. It was less pleasant for certain kangaroos, big bunnies and crocodiles.

Taste & See, the Latin-fusion restaurant in Wichita, Kansas, planned to serve the king of beasts at a $160 per person exotic-game tasting menu on Tuesday evening but thought better of it in the wake of protests.

A petition on to cancel the dinner had listed nearly 11,000 electronic signatures.

“We had some protestors, although they did not interfere with the evening,” Steven Bacci, a spokesperson for the restaurant, wrote via e-mail.

The sold-out event “was tremendously successful on many levels,” Bacci added.

Lieutenant Doug Nolte of the Wichita Police Department said that he was “not aware” of a police response, as any demonstrations were probably “nothing that rose to the level that would cause us to come in and do anything.”

Kangaroo was on the bill of fare, along with Scottish hare, crocodile, alpaca, water buffalo, antelope and foie gras. The petition still called for the meal’s cancellation because of the presence of such “exotic animals.”

Taste & See declined to name the source or supplier of the lion meat.

“Due to the extreme response and threatening nature of some, I do not wish to subject anyone else to the barrage of anger that we have endured,” Bacci wrote in an earlier e-mail.

Exotic Meats, an online purveyor, currently lists its lion meat supplies as “out of stock.”

The website for Czimer’s Game & Seafood, an Illinois-based butcher, advertises African lion legs, loins, steaks, ribs and burgers, ranging in price from $9.95 to $24.95 a pound.

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