Nose-to-tail eating has become fashionable in the last 12 years or so, but offal never really needed the help. Anywhere you find good food you also likely find that eat-it-all ethos, whether it’s as simple as sausage and paté or as elaborate as haggis and Bangladeshi stewed trotters. In New York, you could eat different offal dish every day for a year and still be spoiled for choice. Even d.o.b. 111 — a middle-of-the-road kind of place — serves the most wonderfully creamy lamb brain ravioli.
Whatever you call offal — variety meat, guts, organs — the term has come to mean the parts of the animal that are not skin, muscle, or bone. (Although some muscles are also offal, like heart and tongue.) That includes bits like tendons, intestines, stomach, marrow, blood, feet, and head.
As always, a list of 10 necessarily leaves out some excellent dishes, so let us know if we’ve missed your favorite.
Ready for liver, thymus gland, and tongue? Right this way.
10. Num tok noodles with pork liver, Nusara (Thai), 82-80 Broadway, Queens, 718-898-7996
9. Beef “tongue experience” (tender tongue tip, chewy tongue sinew, and beefy tongue muscle served raw to grill at the table), Takashi (Japanese, Korean, grill), 456 Hudson Street, 212-414-2929
8. Tongue tacos, Tacos el Bronco (Mexican, tacos, street cart), Fifth Avenue and 43rd Street, Brooklyn, open evenings/nights only
7. Calf’s liver meunière, Chez Napoleon (French), 365 West 50th Street, 212-265-6980
6. Crisp sweetbreads with minted peas, the Breslin (gastropub, New American, British), 16 West 29th Street, 646-214-5788
And what about intestines, tendon, and tripe?
5. Dropa khasa (spiced, braised tripe), Namaste Dumpling Palace (Tibetan, Nepalese), 37-67 74th Street, Queens, 646-203-9938
4. Pan-fried calf’s liver with onions and parsley, Liman (Turkish), 2710 Emmons Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-769-3322
3. Crisp fried lamb intestines, El Quinto Pino (Spanish, tapas), 401 West 24th Street, 212-206-6900
2. Cold beef tendon in chile oil, Spicy and Tasty (Sichuan), 39-07 Prince Street, Queens, 718-359-1601
1. Tripa alla Romana, Lupa Osteria Romana (Italian, Roman), 170 Thompson Street, 212-982-5089