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The best meat dishes in New York City 2012

Carnivores can stop hunting for the best meat dishes in NYC. Find delectable meatballs, tartares and terrines on our definitive list.

 (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Pork crépinettes at Foragers City Table
You’ll find these squat meatballs at the butcher’s station of Foragers Market, where they’re crafted from coarse-ground pork sausage and wrapped in delicate folds of caul fat. You can buy them to cook at home, but we think it’s tough to beat chef Jason Greenberg’s handiwork at the in-house restaurant. He sautés the meaty spheres until the fat renders into a gorgeous crust, then presents them Vietnamese-style with Bibb lettuce, mint, chilies and funky-sweet nuoc cham for dipping. 233 Eighth Ave at 22nd St (212-243-8888, foragerscitygrocer.com). $13.—Chris Schonberger

 (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Pork Sticky Rolls at Northern Spy Food Co.
A savory play on the cinnamon bun, these pork pastries are among the few constants on Northern Spy’s ever-changing menu. A spiral of sweet yeast dough is lined with luscious shards of braised Flying Pigs pork shoulder, then painted with a maple-Dijon glaze. Once the buns have proofed and baked, they’re finished with a savory parsnip glaze, which melts into the pastry below. 511 E 12th St between Aves A and B (212-228-5100, northernspyfoodco.com). Two rolls $7.—Jamie Feldmar

 (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Bone marrow tacos at Lulu & Po
Matt Hamilton, owner and chef of Fort Greene’s Lulu & Po, employs flavorful bone marrow as it’s traditionally used in Tabasco, Mexico: as a taco filling. To assemble this DIY dish, scrape the savory marrow out of a thick cracked veal bone and smear it on a charred corn tortilla. A few sprigs of fresh cilantro, a tumble of capers, rings of pickled red onions, parsley and dashes of house-made vinegar and hot sauce add heat to the creamy, meaty marrow. 154 Carlton Ave at Myrtle Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (917-435-3745, luluandpo.com). $13.—Christopher Ross

 (Photograph: Dominic Perri)
Photograph: Dominic Perri

Lamb tartare at the Cannibal
The in-house butchers steer the menu at Christian Pappanicholas’s meat-and-beer joint, where you’ll find this North African riff on a bistro classic. Hand-cut hunks of lamb leg glisten with a spicy, creamy harissa aioli that receives an extra flavor boost from freshly chopped mint, briny capers, red onions and fresh herbs. Mix in the duck-egg yolk on top, and slather the impeccably fresh meat onto crunchy pieces of toast. 113 E 29th St between Park and Lexington Aves (212-686-5480, thecannibalnyc.com). $16.—Chris Schonberger

 (Photograph: Dominic Perri)
Photograph: Dominic Perri

Pork cheek and beef tongue terrine at Franny’s
Studded with translucent beads of fat begging to be spread on the accompanying olive-oil–brushed toast, Franny’s terrine of silken pork cheek and brawny beef tongue achieves the perfect balance of rustic and refined. The seasonal Italian haven changes its menu frequently, but luckily for offal lovers, this house-made appetizer is holding steady—even if its locally grown garnish varies (pickled fennel, crunchy Kirbys, salsa verde et al.). 295 Flatbush Ave between Prospect Pl and St. Marks Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-230-0221, frannysbrooklyn.com). $11.—Marley Lynch

 (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Zi rán yáng ròu chuàn at Biang!
At this modernist spin-off of cheap eats fave Xi’an Famous Foods, the delectable chuan—skewered foods—could vie for top billing with the joint’s signature dish, superlative hand-pulled noodles. As at Xi’an, the team here works delicious wonders with lamb—our favorite of the chuan. The dish takes on deep, complex flavors through a dead-simple preparation: Slices of meat are dusted with chili, ground cumin and spices, threaded on skewers and grilled over flames, resulting in fragrant, chewy nuggets. 41-10 Main St between 41st Ave and 41st Rd, Flushing, Queens (718-888-7713, biang-nyc.com). Three skewers $3.—Mari Uyehara

 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Lamb meatballs at Yunnan Kitchen
This year, under-the-radar Yunnan cuisine went prime time with the opening of this buzzy downtown eatery, thanks to choice dishes like these ultra juicy lamb meatballs. Chef Travis Post adds a poetic counterpoint—pickled chive blossoms—to the ground lamb, boosting the dark meat with a vinegary kick. He finishes the chubby skewered-and-grilled orbs with a sprinkling of red chili powder. 79 Clinton St between Delancey and Rivington Sts (212-253-2527, yunnankitchen.com). $8.—Mari Uyehara

 (Photograph: Dominic Perri)
Photograph: Dominic Perri

Steak tartare at Roebling Tea Room
Beloved by its loyalist regulars, the steak tartare is the only perpetual appetizer on the daily changing menu at Roebling Tea Room. Chef Dennis Spina hand-chops top round, deposits it on a plate with a drizzle of slightly sweet Kewpie mayonnaise and a spray of fried chickpeas. A chive and caper, a little lemon and the pleasant crunch of Maldon salt cuts the richness. Double your pleasure with an entrée-size portion. 143 Roebling St at Metropolitan Ave, enter on Metropolian Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-963-0760, roeblingtearoom.com). Appetizer $12, entrée $19.—Scarlett Lindeman

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Our picks for the best meat dishes in NYC include tartares at the Cannibal and the Roebling Tea Room, meatballs at Yunnan Kitchen and Foragers City Table, and a rustic terrine at Franny’s.