The 10 Best Lamb Dishes in New York City

The 10 Best Lamb Dishes in New York City
Courtesy Keens Steakhouse

Come springtime, veg-heads rejoice in the return of greenmarket produce, while meat-eaters get excited about the flesh of young sheep. Omnivores get the best of both worlds, matching rosy and supple lamb to the abundance of carrots, asparagus, and ramps available at the greenmarket. Spring lamb's mildness makes it versatile for preparations cooked or raw, while chefs tame the gaminess of more mature animals with slow cooking and pungent spices. In celebration of the season, here are the ten best lamb dishes in NYC.

The 10 Best Lamb Dishes in New York City
The Breslin via Facebook

10. Lamb over rice, Halal Guys (307 East 14th Street, 212-533-7707) It took more than twenty years, but the little street cart that could (on 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue) went brick-and-mortar last year, finally offering its devoted fans protection from the elements. Carvings of spit-roasted lamb get stuffed into pitas or piled over fragrant sunset-orange rice. Smother the piquant slices in zesty, mayonnaise-based white sauce to complete this simple formula, which has spawned a burgeoning empire, with franchises planned across the country.

The 10 Best Lamb Dishes in New York City
The Halal Guys via Facebook

9. Lamb bun, Cooklyn (659 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn; 347-915-0721) At his casual Prospect Heights eatery, chef Anthony Theocaropoulos — who worked for fine-dining heavy hitters Mario Batali and Michael White — cooks under the broad umbrella of New American cuisine, employing occasional nods to his Greek roots. One of his best Hellenic dishes is also one of the most straightforward, a $5 sandwich of warm braised lamb slathered in cool feta cream and anointed with pickled daikon and dill fronds.

The 10 Best Lamb Dishes in New York City
Michael Tulipan

8. Lamb bolognese, Dieci (228 East 10th Street, 212-387-9545) For eight years, this Japanese-Italian restaurant in the East Village has attracted a steady stream of regulars thanks to clever, offbeat pairings like piquant marinated sea-urchin-topped new potato gratin. The kitchen takes springy, thick-cut ramen noodles and tosses them with a chile-spiked bolognese made from ground lamb. The chunky ragù makes the dish reminiscent of mazemen, ramen's saucier, soupless cousin.



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