I've been obsessively looking for lamb cheeks ever since I had them at bistro jeanty in napa. I've checked with a slew of butchers --florence prime meats, jefferson market, pino's prime, citarella, and some small ethnic markets, but most people just look at me a little funny when I ask. Does anyone know of a butcher (or farmer?!) that might be able to help?
I personally recommend trying an ethnic butcher that sells lambs head. You will need to purchase the lambs head and either do the cheek dissection yourself or ask the butcher to do it for you. Most ethnic butchers will not only look at you funny,they will also do a poor job of cutting it out, dismissing you as flake.
I recommend seeking out some Greek butchers in the Astoria/Long Island City area of Queens. It's a good start...
If the Queens/Greek suggestion doesn't work out, a related idea:
The old guy who runs the International Food Store on the West side of 9th below 41st is the master mind behind the succulent, smokey-salty kokoretsi (lamb sweetbreads wrapped in lamb intestines, grilled) served at the 9th Ave Food Fair (see other postings about its deliciousness). I asked him recently if he makes it any other time of year. He said no, muttered about it being too complicated, not selling fast enough, and having to get his stuff from a special butcher. Perhaps if you asked him sweetly (he's the gruff-but-lovable type) he would tell you just who that butcher is.
I've never had lamb cheeks but I bet they are outrageously tasty.