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On the Lamb: A Look at The City's Unique Lamb Dishes

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Lamb is frequently associated with Easter. And it's only natural that many affiliate lamb with springtime. While the meat is certainly hearty enough to be enjoyed year-round, for those looking for a different take on lamb, there are plenty of places in D.C. to try it from head to tail. Here are 15 of Eater's favorites.
—Jamie Liu


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Border Springs Farm (at Union Market)

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1309 5th Street Northeast
Washington, DC 20002
The dish: Lamb sausage sandwich with goat cheese and chutney
Visitors to Union Market may only think to pick up fresh lamb from Border Springs Farm. But they can also try a variety of lamb dishes. Aside from the sausage sandwich, try breakfast foods on the weekends or take home a lamb chili.

2. Bourbon Steak Washington DC

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2800 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 944-2026
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The dish: Sous vide leg of lamb with merguez sausage
New Bourbon Steak chef John Critchley has been a two-time winner of the D.C. Lamb Jam. So it's natural to go to the expert, who serves medium-rare rounds of sous vide leg of lamb seasoned with ras-el-hanout and accompanied by merguez and a carrot-fatback puree.

3. Cafe Ole

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4000 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 244-1330
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The dish: Tagine of lamb
Long cooked tagine is a Moroccan classic. The stew at Cafe Olé, cooked in a ceramic clay container, includes lamb with carrots, celery, caramelized onions and orange over Israeli couscous and a curry aioli.

4. Cava Mezze

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527 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 543-9090
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The dish: Lamb chop with lemon and crisped potatoes
Like with any Greek restaurant, Cava Mezze serves up a wide variety of lamb dishes. The best of these are the beautifully browned lamb chop lollipops. Also worth a try: spicy lamb sliders, lamb souvlaki, or lamb bolognese.

5. Dubliner Restaurant & Pub

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520 N Capitol St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 737-3773
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The dish: Rack of lamb
For those looking for what many see as traditional Easter lamb, the Dubliner serves a rack of lamb with an herbed crust, roasted potatoes, and mint jelly.

6. Dukem

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1114 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 667-8735
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The dish: Tibs
As one of D.C.'s unofficial signature cuisines, Ethiopian features beef and lamb heavily. One of the most popular of the Ethiopian dishes is tibs. Head to Dukem for the delicious cubes of lamb fried up in clarified butter with onion, rosemary, and berbere spices.

7. Greek Deli & Catering

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1120 19th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 296-2111
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The dish: Lamb platter
Fans of the Greek Deli line up for delicious homestyle platters of Greek food. Chef Kostas Fostieris serves one great platter of tender, juicy lamb, which comes with salad and a side.

8. Hong Kong Palace

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6387 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22044
(703) 532-0940
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The dish: Cumin lamb
Despite the name, Hong Kong Palace serves up mala Szechuan food. One of the classic Szechuan dishes is cumin lamb. The meat is dry fried for a browned crust and tender insides, and the seasoning of cumin and Sichuan peppercorns yields a fragrant, and spicy-numbing dish.

9. Indique

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3512 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 244-6600
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The dish: Lamb vindaloo
For those who like heat to their food, the best choice would be an incendiary lamb vindaloo. Try it at Indique with its spicy, tomato sauce with potatoes.

10. Mintwood Place

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1813 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 234-6732
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The dish: Lamb tongue moussaka
Most tongue dishes feature beef tongue. But at Mintwood Place, they use lamb tongue to layer on top of eggplant and vegetables with a bechamel sauce to make a moussaka.

11. Ravi Kabob House

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305 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 522-6666
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The dish: Mughaz Masala
Ravi Kabob might be more well known for its lamb kabobs, but for lovers of offal, the adventurous dish is the Mughaz Masala. It features chopped lamb brain in a masala sauce. But for those with a fear of prions the lamb tenderloin kabob serves just fine.

12. Ripple

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3417 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 244-7995
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The dish: Lamb tartare
Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley only joined Ripple within the last two weeks, but she's already added a stunning lamb tartare with smoked egg yolk, labne with juniper, mustard seed, elderflower and amaranth.

13. SUNdeVICH

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1314 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 319-1086
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The dish: The Athens
It's impossible to pick just one sandwich to try at Sundevich, but for fans of lamb, they feature the Athens with thinly-sliced lamb, tomatoes, sumac onions, tzatziki and greens. Or try the Istanbul, which throws ground beef into the Athens.

14. Unum

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2917 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 621-6959
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The dish: Braised Indian-spiced lamb shank
Shanks are one of the heartier preparations of lamb, often the subject of braising. At Unum, try the Indian-spiced shank with raisin-cashew cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cilantro-mint chutney.

15. Woodward Table

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1426 H St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 347-5353
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The dish: Denver lamb ribs
There are few things more satisfying than digging into a pile of ribs with your fingers. Woodward Table serves up lamb ribs with a barbecue glaze, garlic, cilantro and pumpkin seeds.

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1. Border Springs Farm (at Union Market)

1309 5th Street Northeast, Washington, DC 20002
The dish: Lamb sausage sandwich with goat cheese and chutney
Visitors to Union Market may only think to pick up fresh lamb from Border Springs Farm. But they can also try a variety of lamb dishes. Aside from the sausage sandwich, try breakfast foods on the weekends or take home a lamb chili.
1309 5th Street Northeast
Washington, DC 20002

2. Bourbon Steak Washington DC

2800 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20007
The dish: Sous vide leg of lamb with merguez sausage
New Bourbon Steak chef John Critchley has been a two-time winner of the D.C. Lamb Jam. So it's natural to go to the expert, who serves medium-rare rounds of sous vide leg of lamb seasoned with ras-el-hanout and accompanied by merguez and a carrot-fatback puree.
2800 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC 20007

3. Cafe Ole

4000 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016
The dish: Tagine of lamb
Long cooked tagine is a Moroccan classic. The stew at Cafe Olé, cooked in a ceramic clay container, includes lamb with carrots, celery, caramelized onions and orange over Israeli couscous and a curry aioli.
4000 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

4. Cava Mezze

527 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
The dish: Lamb chop with lemon and crisped potatoes
Like with any Greek restaurant, Cava Mezze serves up a wide variety of lamb dishes. The best of these are the beautifully browned lamb chop lollipops. Also worth a try: spicy lamb sliders, lamb souvlaki, or lamb bolognese.
527 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

5. Dubliner Restaurant & Pub

520 N Capitol St NW, Washington, DC 20001
The dish: Rack of lamb
For those looking for what many see as traditional Easter lamb, the Dubliner serves a rack of lamb with an herbed crust, roasted potatoes, and mint jelly.
520 N Capitol St NW
Washington, DC 20001

6. Dukem

1114 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009
The dish: Tibs
As one of D.C.'s unofficial signature cuisines, Ethiopian features beef and lamb heavily. One of the most popular of the Ethiopian dishes is tibs. Head to Dukem for the delicious cubes of lamb fried up in clarified butter with onion, rosemary, and berbere spices.
1114 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009

7. Greek Deli & Catering

1120 19th St NW, Washington, DC 20036
The dish: Lamb platter
Fans of the Greek Deli line up for delicious homestyle platters of Greek food. Chef Kostas Fostieris serves one great platter of tender, juicy lamb, which comes with salad and a side.
1120 19th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

8. Hong Kong Palace

6387 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22044
The dish: Cumin lamb
Despite the name, Hong Kong Palace serves up mala Szechuan food. One of the classic Szechuan dishes is cumin lamb. The meat is dry fried for a browned crust and tender insides, and the seasoning of cumin and Sichuan peppercorns yields a fragrant, and spicy-numbing dish.
6387 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22044

9. Indique

3512 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008
The dish: Lamb vindaloo
For those who like heat to their food, the best choice would be an incendiary lamb vindaloo. Try it at Indique with its spicy, tomato sauce with potatoes.
3512 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008

10. Mintwood Place

1813 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
The dish: Lamb tongue moussaka
Most tongue dishes feature beef tongue. But at Mintwood Place, they use lamb tongue to layer on top of eggplant and vegetables with a bechamel sauce to make a moussaka.
1813 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009

11. Ravi Kabob House

305 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22203
The dish: Mughaz Masala
Ravi Kabob might be more well known for its lamb kabobs, but for lovers of offal, the adventurous dish is the Mughaz Masala. It features chopped lamb brain in a masala sauce. But for those with a fear of prions the lamb tenderloin kabob serves just fine.
305 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22203

12. Ripple

3417 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
The dish: Lamb tartare
Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley only joined Ripple within the last two weeks, but she's already added a stunning lamb tartare with smoked egg yolk, labne with juniper, mustard seed, elderflower and amaranth.
3417 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

13. SUNdeVICH

1314 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
The dish: The Athens
It's impossible to pick just one sandwich to try at Sundevich, but for fans of lamb, they feature the Athens with thinly-sliced lamb, tomatoes, sumac onions, tzatziki and greens. Or try the Istanbul, which throws ground beef into the Athens.
1314 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

14. Unum

2917 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
The dish: Braised Indian-spiced lamb shank
Shanks are one of the heartier preparations of lamb, often the subject of braising. At Unum, try the Indian-spiced shank with raisin-cashew cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cilantro-mint chutney.
2917 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007

15. Woodward Table

1426 H St. NW, Washington, DC 20005
The dish: Denver lamb ribs
There are few things more satisfying than digging into a pile of ribs with your fingers. Woodward Table serves up lamb ribs with a barbecue glaze, garlic, cilantro and pumpkin seeds.
1426 H St. NW
Washington, DC 20005

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