The Nose-to-Tail Newcomer (Oves dolum baabaaicus)
Weâ€™ve been living in the Time of Swine, an era where chefs have directed their culinary energies toward all things porcine. In the past decade alone, old-school bacon has evolved into de facto â€śseasoning,â€ť as ubiquitous as salt and pepper. Pork belly? A menu cue designed to stage-whisper, â€śOrder me…now.â€ť Even the wobblier bits of an oinkerâ€™s anatomyâ€”the liver, the cheeks, the earsâ€”have become de rigueur. But lately, as diners have grown more comfortable with snout to tail, chefs have begun to think outside the pig.
Now, the same whole-hog mindset is getting applied to other types of faunaâ€”most notably, lamb. At the South Endâ€™s Coppa, where even the charcuterie boards are shaped like pigs, chef de cuisine Meghann Ward prepares lamb in a multitude of waysâ€”shoulder sausage, braised neck, seared skirt, smoked belly, roasted legâ€”that get dispatched into tasting platters for two. At Belly, meanwhile, chef Robert Grant turns whole lambs into four-course tasting menus. These may be the most elaborate examples of this movement at work, but they are hardly the only ones. Here, cut by cut, we drill down on a wealth of empirical evidence pointing to the sheepish mammalâ€™s citywide domination.
Lamb loin, lamb bacon, red peppers, braised and pickled black kale, poached prunes, prune-lamb jus.
The Butcher Shop
Lamb loin, potato croquette, baby Brussels sprouts, oyster mushrooms.
Whole roasted mutton leg, belly, heart, and liver, smoked rutabaga, bean-pot onion, caramelized sheepâ€™s milk, dulse.
Steel & Rye
Lamb-shoulder-and-rib meatballs, harissa, Greek yogurt, pine nuts, slow-cooked egg.
Slow-roasted and grilled lamb ribs, Ethiopian berbere spices (part of the Monday-night tapas menu).
Myers + Chang
Twice-cooked lamb-belly stir fry, long beans, spicy mustard, glass noodles.
Farro risotto, lamb bacon, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, shaved cured egg yolk.
Bistro du Midi
Braised lamb neck, persillade, baby Brussels sprouts, Trumpet Royale mushrooms, goat-cheese polenta.
Grilled lamb tongue, horseradish, fried corn, chorizo oil, red-onion salad.
East by Northeast
Lamb-shoulder pot stickers, pickled carrots, roasted-garlic-and-chili sauce.
Fin to Tail
Itâ€™s hard to beat the tabletop drama of tackling a burnished, crackly-skinned, toothy-smiled pigâ€™s head with a fork. But you havenâ€™t tried fish until youâ€™ve tasted the tender flesh wrangled out of its cheek cavity.
Leave it to pigâ€™s-head pied piper Tony Maws to go fish-cheek chic at his new Somerville restaurant, The Kirkland Tap & Trotter, with a whole roasted salmon head served with red chilies and a radish salad.
In Japanese cuisine, the kama (or collar) of the fish is considered a delicacy. While itâ€™s not uncommon to find one type at a sushi restaurant, CafĂ© Sushi has an entire kama section of the menu, and many of the fish (like red sea bream) arrive with heads still attached.
Bass-head meat gets turned into terrines at Island Creek Oyster Bar.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/article/2013/10/29/boston-restaurants-lamb-dishes-nose-tail-newcomer/