Yesterday we were invited to a Fort Greene dinner party by the Brooklyn Food Group, which features cuisine they like to call "free-range Brooklyn." As it turns out, those guys are wusses. Today's Times teaches that free-range Brooklyn is something much more exciting and darkly awesome. Meet Steven Rinella, there holding a cute little sparrow in his hand. That is, the hand that will later behead it and serve the still-twittering body to the likes of Jay "I Heart Jay McInerney" McInerney, Bill "I Heart Ramsay" Buford, and other foodie literati at, you guessed it, a Fort Greene dinner party.

The hirundine killer is the author of "The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine" a book wherein he counsels on where to catch pigeons (behind air conditioners) and hunt squirrels—what he calls "Brooklyn Squirrel, the thinking man's chicken."

But the real question, other than what the gosh-darn heck happened in his early adolescence that made him want to bite the heads of live sparrows (Ozzfest, perhaps?) is what Department of Health firestorm will erupt when he opens his own restaurant in which spritely rats roam free through the walk-in fridge before being thrown in the deep fryer.

Backyard Pests? Think of Them as Dinner [NYT]

[Photo: Evan Sung/NYT]