Welcome to Dude, You Gotta Eat This -- a Thrillist series where we direct your eating attention toward new, under-the-radar, weird, or just plain awesome eats you need to go try around the city.
How many different necks have you eaten? Lifetime, I've eaten two: the top-notch smoked goat's neck from Ducks Eatery, and more recently, GG's fried lamb neck meatballs. Alphabet City has some sort of weird thing for taking down the tender necks of small hoofed creatures, I guess. Whatever. Let's talk about these little orbs of lamb-neck joy.
Innocuously listed under the "Share" category of the menu, GG's lamb balls are easy to skip over on your way to the pizzas (what the place is known for) or the burger (it's becoming known for this, too). Do not make this mistake. Order them with your first round of drinks.
There are four to an order, each about 2" in diameter. I'm not sure what your internal meatball yardstick looks like, but to someone who grew up with hand-packed Italian-style beef balls, these look downright bite-sized. The spheres arrive with fried shallots and an orange piquillo pepper sour cream sauce, which is phenomenal.
The balls themselves are fried to a dark brown crisp, forming a thin sort of shell. Bite into it, and it easily yields to the hot minced lamb meat within. The neck meat has been seared & braised overnight in a tomato/garlic/red wine solution, then combined with additional ground lamb & egg and fried to order.
You could crush each ball in a single big bite, but if you've got the restraint, the better move is to halve them and cover each piece with the excess sour cream sauce. Have at it.
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Dave Infante is a senior writer for Thrillist, and is surprisingly into necks these days. Follow @dinfontay on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.