Pork hogs the spotlight when it comes to ribs. However, lamb and beef protein pops are just as delectable. Here are 7 super restaurants for ribs that are tasty alternatives to getting’ piggy wit’ it.
Soca, Sherman Oaks, California
Lamb riblets get a Vietnamese treatment. Braised in red wine and mint, the meaty morsels arrive with a peanut and green papaya salad. They’re finger-lickin’ good (or you could just be civilized and use a napkin). Make a reservation at Soca.
Zaytinya, Washington, D.C.
A pair of lamb rib chops goes Greek. The dynamic duo is served over smoked yogurt tzatziki with dill oil and compressed cucumbers. Think of it as an elevated pita-less gyro. Make a reservation at Zaytinya.
BAAR BAAR, New York, New York
Lamb ribs by way of Kashmir. The meat lollipops come with apricot-chili marmalade and saffron-quince chutney. One bite and you’ll swear you’re in Jammu. Make a reservation at BAAR BAAR.
Cherry Point, Brooklyn, New York
To get them tremendously tender, these lamb ribs are cooked sous vide for 36 hours. They’re glazed in a reduction of lamb jus and tart cherries and then grilled to order. Coated in toasty garlic chips and preserved orange, the trio of ribs comes with a green puddle of chimichurri for dipping. Make a reservation at Cherry Point.
The Rusty Pelican, Key Biscayne, Florida
Here’s some hot meat on meat action. Chorizo crumbs crust these delectable lamb ribs. There’s mint pea puree on the side to add a cooling note. Make a reservation at the Rusty Pelican.
Oyamel, Washington, D.C.
Good things take time. After marinating in ancho and arbol chilies, these local beef ribs are smoked, cooked sous vide overnight, and finished on the grill. Glazed with beef jus, they arrive with a funky fresh huitlacoche salsa. Make a reservation at Oyamel.
Rhubarb, Asheville, North Carolina
First seared on the grill, these lamb ribs are then braised in fortified lamb jus until tender. They finished off with slightly spicy, slightly sweet Mongolian barbeque sauce. Collard greens kimchi completes the presentation. Make a reservation at Rhubarb.
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Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.