The Breslin's Lamb Burger ($21)
The Breslin keeps it simple with this 100% lamb meat patty, seasoned with salt and topped with feta and thinly sliced red onion. The gamey, super-juicy burger is served with a side of cumin mayo, but that's better saved for the super-crispy thrice-cooked chips.
Muslim "Lamb Chop" at Fu Run ($22.95)
This "Muslim Lamb Chop" from Northern Chinese restaurant Fu Run, is braised, caked with cumin and sesame seeds, battered, and deep fried. The "chop" is actually a rack of lamb ribs, and the meat is so tender is falls off the bone with the gentle poke of a chopstick.
Spicy and Tingly Lamb Face Salad from Xi’an Famous Foods ($10)
Cucumber, shredded lamb face meat (everything from cheek to eyeball), cilantro, celery, and mung been sprouts come together for a spicy, oily lamb dish that's surprisingly refreshing at Xi'an Famous Foods. The dish also wins the award for the best name ever.
Lamb Pastrami at Char No. 4 ($13)
Brined for a week, slow-smoked and thinly shaved, the lamb pastrami from Char No. 4 is a rare slice of charcuterie beauty. It's served with coriander mayo, picked shallots, grilled rye bread, and topped with a burst of bright green cilantro.
Orecchiette with Lamb Neck Ragú at Del Posto
This pasta dish at Del Posto starts with spicy merguez sausage made in house that's browned and deglazed to within an inch of its life. Little cups of fresh orecchiette take well to the spicy sauce, and carrots add a sweet lightness to the pasta. It's well worth the price of admission for Del Posto's lunch or dinner prix fixe.
Lamb Shank at MP Taverna ($24.95)
MP Taverna's lamb shank braised in lamb stock is an updated take on youvetsi, a Greek dish of meat cooked with orzo in a clay pot. Here the shank is fall-off-the-bone tender and full of rich, gamey flavors. Spinach, carrots, and lemon zest brighten up the sticky jus.
Iskender Kebab at Taci's Beyti ($15.75)
Iskender (Alexander) kebab is a greasy pile of shaved lamb with tomato sauce and yogurt over triangles of pita that soak up all the mess. Taci's Beyti in Midwood does one of the best in town, intensely lamby with plenty of tomato tang.
Lamb Chunks Over Eggplant Purée at Sip Sak ($18)
Spoon-tender knobs of lamb braised with tomato and olive oil, then served over a smooth whipped eggplant purée. At other Turkish restaurants around Manhattan, the eggplant purée is enriched—and dumbed down, you could say—with cream. Sip Sak keeps it cleaner, heavy on the smoke and the eggplant's natural fruitiness.
Kibbe Naya at Au Za'atar ($10)
Kibbe naya is a finely ground lamb tartare studded with bulgar, and there's an excellent one at Au Za'atar. The fresh lamb comes with sides of garlic sauce, fruity pepper paste, and olive oil, plus plenty of toasted pita for scooping.
Lamb Adana Kebab at Mangal Kebab ($14)
Some of the city's tastiest Turkish food can be found at this unassuming kebab house in Sunnyside. The best of the lot is the juicy ground lamb adana kebab flecked with spicy red pepper.
Cumin Lamb at Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan ($12.95)
Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan's lamb is sliced thicker than others, so it stays tender and juicy despite its smoky crust from the wok. It's blasted with cumin flavor, too, and charred onions add a touch of sweetness.
Parmuda at Chayhana Salom ($3)
Meat-filled pastry is always a winner in our book. At Chayhana Salom, this flaky triangular pastry is filled with chopped lamb and sautéed onion, then egg washed and topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Lamb Kebabs at Kabul Kabab House ($14.50)
We like most of the skewered meat at Kabul Kabab, but especially the lamb, both chops and chunks of sirloin rubbed with cumin and coriander, then cooked hot and fast over open flame. Don't discount the rice, too, which soaks up plenty of flavor.
Lamb Shank Tagine at Cafe Mogador ($19.50)
Deliciously rich and fatty lamb shanks are the thing to order from Cafe Mogador. The dish is served with a mild, olive-flavored braising liquid over a fluffy bed of couscous.
Mekanek at ilili ($12)
Mekanek are like Middle Eastern cocktail franks, and at Ilili Restaurant, they're soft and well spiced in snappy skins. Pan juices mix with lemon for an assertive sauce best tempered by yogurt.
Lamb Belly at Hometown Barbecue ($24/pound)
You'll find lamb belly by the pound at Hometown Barbecue on the Red Hook waterfront, where it's full of crisped edges and washed with lamb fat. Get there early, because it often sells out before the night is done.
Goat-Cheese Stuffed Lamb Burger at Balaboosta ($16)
At Balaboosta, the juicy lamb burger is stuffed with herbed Grand Reserve goat cheese, topped with caramelized onions, and served on a grilled brioche bun. The grass-fed lamb gives the meat a distinct grassy flavor and pairs well with the thinly sliced pickles on the side.