Bacon lovers take note: There's a new meat in town. Cured lamb belly is showing up on menus all over, cozying up to eggs at breakfast and standing in for its porcine counterpart in wintry dinners. Because it has a lower fat, lamb bacon doesn't crisp up as well as pork. But chefs like its meaty texture and the rich, gamey flavor it adds to hearty winter dishes.
At the new Boqueria SoHo, chef Seamus Mullen cures lamb belly from Vermont's Tamarack Hollow farm in house and uses it for every meal of the day: At brunch, he pairs it with eggs and braised Tuscan kale; at lunch, he creates an overloaded BLT (pictured) with roasted-garlic aioli and sheep's-milk cheese; and at dinner, he serves it with roasted butternut squash and braised mushrooms.
For a spicier application, head to Theater District favorite Toloache for chef Julian Medina's lamb bacon with pickled garbanzo beans and guajillo-chile salsa. And at Anthos, chef Michael Psilakis makes an updated Greek manti, a ravioli-like dumpling that he stuffs with caramelized onions, house-made lamb bacon, beet greens and manouri cheese.
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