By Ava Stryker-Robbins
When you think of Upper West Side dishes that have stood the test of time, Gennaro’s Stinco di Agnello (lamb shank) immediately comes to mind. This savory and elegant lamb dish has been around for 26 years, and will surely continue to be served for many more.
It features lamb that is soft, tender, and beyond appetizing. Every taste I had was calming and delicious. The vast assortment of flavors was never overwhelming, only enticing. And the couscous beneath was fluffy, light, and served as the perfect complement to the lamb. After finishing this dish, I was able to thoroughly enjoy the tasty bits of marrow that rested inside of the lamb shank.
According to the restaurant’s owner and chef, Gennaro, this dish is “very tricky to cook.” It is crafted with red wine, and vegetables, and takes three and a half hours. Gennaro states that “It is a very hearty dish. It has a lot of flavors because it has a lot of spices.” He goes on to say that the Stinco di Agnello is definitely one of his favorite dishes that he serves, and that it was inspired by “different flavors from different experiences.” It was the restaurant’s first dish.
Gennaro is a local Upper West Side Italian restaurant that opened 26 years ago. As Gennaro says, since they are still open “we have done something good so far.” The Stinco di Agnello costs $29.95 and is worth every penny. Note that Gennaro is cash only.
The Dish: Stinco di Agnello (Lamb Shank)
The Resturant: Gennaro (665 Amsterdam Ave at 93rd Street)
“…and takes three and a half hours.”
So wait, how’s that work, you call and order & 3 + 1/2 hours later you show up to eat? I guess you have to leave a credit card number when you order (just in case you don’t show up) and then redeem that for cash (because they don’t take anything but cash) when you show up to eat?
Otherwise I can’t imagine going to a restaurant and waiting 3 1/2 hours after I’ve first ordered to actually eat… unless they cook it earlier and then just heat it up for you when you arrive?
So how exactly does that work?
Making a good stock or a classic Italian red sauce takes hours of simmering. So that is counted as part of the prep time. Of course you don’t order and then wait for 3.5 hours!
One of my family’s favorite restaurants. Haven’t tried this dish, but can attest that pretty much everything is delicious, seasonal, and expertly prepared. Regarding the “cash only” stipulation: I don’t know if others will back me up on this, but my experience is that since pandemic, and their need to accommodate things like more take-out (at least earlier on), they’ve made room for credit card, certainly for take-out and/or delivery… Double check, but that’s my sense. Anyway, thanks for this lovely write-up, and nice that you interviewed the owner!
I am normally not a fan of “old-fashioned” Italian restaurants, but Gennaro is truly special. It looks unassuming from the outside, but those chefs really know what they are doing. So glad it is within walking distance of our home.