Slideshow: 11 Lamb Dishes We Love in Chicago

Roasted Leg of Lamb Sandwich at Rotisserie in Eataly Chicago
Roasted Leg of Lamb Sandwich at Rotisserie in Eataly Chicago

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"Instead of trying offer a little bit of everything, Rotisserie in Eataly Chicago only offers two options a day--a rotating daily special and prime rib. Because I swung by on a Tuesday, I got the chance to try the leg of lamb sandwich ($11.80). Even though I went with the regular size instead of large, it was an enormous portion that defiantly refused to stay neatly inside the roll. The lamb itself was nicely seasoned, with a pleasing gamey profile." Read more here >>

Borrego en Mole Negro at Topolobampo
Borrego en Mole Negro at Topolobampo

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"When it comes down to it, I'm not sure if there is a dish I adore more than mole negro. Forget the idea of a "chocolate sauce," I crave versions that are multilayered, dynamic, and haunting (the best versions linger on the tongue for minutes). A number of places in town put out a stellar mole, but I'm not sure another place puts together a more stunning plate than Rick Bayless's Topolobampo. 29 ingredients go into this dish, including the hard to find chilhuacle chiles, and the result is the best version I've had outside of Oaxaca." Read more here >>

Iskender Kebab at Cafe Orchid
Iskender Kebab at Cafe Orchid

[Photograph: Mike Gebert]

"It's the deep dish sausage pizza of Turkey, a robust dish with strips of meaty lamb doner, brightly acidic warm tomato sauce, and tart cool yogurt, all tossed with bread cubes—a riot of bright contrasts amid the general subtlety of wholesomeness... Since Iskender is Alexander, I long figured it was an ancient dish named for the Greek hero... Turns out it's not ancient at all—it was invented in Bursa, a city across the Marmara sea from Istanbul, in 1867 by a chef named Iskender Efendi, and as with deep dish pizza, several modern restaurants in Bursa claim direct descent from the original. You don't have to go to Bursa for it; most Turkish restaurants in Chicago offer their version, and my favorite, and not coincidentally the closest one to me, is at a ramshackle place called Cafe Orchid. " Read more here >>

Lamb Chorizo Tacos at Takito
Lamb Chorizo Tacos at Takito

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"The lamb chorizo is made with morita chilies, but also features egg mixed in, almost like a meatloaf. Seasoned with smoked paprika and cumin, it's served with a tomatillo pistachio salsa and a jicama escabeche." Read more here >>

Lamb Gyro Taco at Big & Littles
Lamb Gyro Taco at Big & Littles

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"Talk about unexpected. This taco-fied version of the ubiquitous stand classic bests 99% of the gyros I've tried around town. Where most versions are overly meaty and creamy messes, this one is slim and restrained, which allows the few strips of salty, crispy meat to work their magic. This was also the only time a flour tortilla was used, and it was a great choice." Read more here >>

Famous Stir Fried Lamb at Lao Hunan
Famous Stir Fried Lamb at Lao Hunan

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"Unless you're truly spice-obsessed, it's easy to get burnt out on the capsicum onslaught on order at Lao Hunan. That's why it's nice to have a relatively mild mannered dish in your arsenal for people to keep coming back to when the heat becomes unbearable. Enter the tender, gamey lamb, which is the tastiest middle manager you've ever had." Read more here >>

Coffee Braised Lamb Barbacoa Tacos at Mexique
Coffee Braised Lamb Barbacoa Tacos at Mexique

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"The Coffee Braised Lamb Barbacoa... features tender lamb in a mole-like sauce. When you first bite in, you get the bitter notes from the coffee, but give it a few seconds and the spice lurking underneath begins to peek through. It's nothing less than stunning, and the handmade tortillas only add to the pleasure." Read more here >>

Seamus' Blue Ribbon Irish Lamb Stew at Chief O'Neill's
Seamus' Blue Ribbon Irish Lamb Stew at Chief O'Neill's

[Photograph: Josh Conley]

"Irish lamb stew is not something you see on a lot of Irish pub menus, which may explain the price tag. The braised lamb is just as tender as can be, with individual chunks big enough to share. The savory porcini mushrooms come over the top of the lamb, only to be balanced out by the sweetness of the carrots. The barley provides a unique texture and some earthiness. And while this dish certainly won't win any beauty contests, it is hearty, bone-warming fare." Read more here >>

Mughuz Masala at Shan Restaurant
Mughuz Masala at Shan Restaurant

[Photograph: Dennis Lee]

"These lamb brains are stewed in a strong spice blend packed with coriander, garlic, chili, and ginger. If you've never had brains, which I'm guessing some of you haven't, they have the texture of a soft custard with a very mild and rich flavor, almost like bone marrow, but with a slightly metallic aftertaste. The aftertaste isn't off-putting, but it's a hallmark flavor of cranial delight. Personally, I think they're awesome, and if you're on the fence, don't think about it too much (get it?) and give them a shot." Read more here >>