7 Restaurant Tartare Dishes Worth Seeking Out
Chefs around the country are using the tartare format to play with texture and flavor in exciting new ways. Beyond basic beef, Amanda Turner adds color with beets, Tracy Malechek adds crunch with toasted pecans, and Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer add salt bombs with capers. In South Carolina, Shuai Wang turns tuna scraps into sweet and spicy seafood tartare, and in New York City, Markus Glocker grinds celery root like beef for a bright orange, plant-based tartare. See even more takes on restaurant tartare below and make your own with our favorite tartare recipes.
Celery Root Tartare with Tarragon, Pommery, Mustard, and Parmesan at Koloman (New York City)
For this vegetable-forward tartare, chef Markus Glocker salt-bakes whole celery roots and then grinds them up, just as he would beef. The al dente celery root gets dressed with brandy, capers, and a tomato reduction, reaching a gorgeous bright orange color. Covered with a heaping pile of Parmesan, the tartare is smooth enough to spread like butter onto the celeriac rice cracker that comes by its side.
Venison Tartare with Salsify and Mustard at Lord’s (New York City)
2023 Best New Chef Ed Szymanski found that sweet and lean venison meat makes an excellent tartare, especially when it’s paired with equally woodland-inspired ingredients. Rosemary oil balances out the sweetness, while roasted salsify puree and fried salsify crisps add an earthy, vanilla flavor. And for acid, Szymanski leans on his British roots by throwing in pickled mustard seeds.
Beef Tartare with Beet, Egg Yolk, and Mustard at Olamaie (Austin)
In an effort to create a bright, colorful dish for spring, chef Amanda Turner crafted her tartare around beets. She pickles roasted beets in a bread and butter brine and mixes them with diced Texas wagyu. The hot pink tartare winds up looking like a garden — it’s placed over a beef tallow egg yolk sauce and topped with beet tapioca chips, edible flowers, and, for an extra hit of umami, beef fat powder.
Beef Tartare with Pecans, Sonora, Rosemary, and Carta di Musica at Birdie’s (Austin)
The 2023 Restaurant of the Year adds a Texas spin to the classic French bistro dish. Chef Tracy Malechek pairs rich flatiron steak with crunchy toasted pecans, chewy wheat berries, smoked shiitake mushrooms, and what Malechek refers to as “the glue of this dish,” a piney rosemary aioli. It’s served with a jumbo-sized carta di musica, a paper-thin Sardinian cracker perfect for scraping up every last bite.
Beef Tartare with Tonnato, Garlic-Shallot Crumble, and Crispy Capers at Boia De (Miami)
Inspired by Vitello tonnato, chefs Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer toss hand-cut hanger steak with a creamy, robust sauce made from tuna, vinegar, and egg yolks. It’s topped with toasted breadcrumbs and fried capers, which act as “salt bombs.” Their scooping vessel is the beefiest of them all — thin slices of tendon that are fried into puffy, rice chip-like crisps.
Fish Tartare with Spicy Mayo, Pickled Cucumber, and Garlic Toast at Jackrabbit Filly (Charleston, South Carolina)
After breaking down tuna for their sashimi rice bowl, chef Shuai Wang minces the remaining tender scraps and folds in spicy mayo. It gets a touch of sweetness and acidity from ponzu and a whole lot of crunch from pickled cucumber, masago, and tempura bits. The real wow factor arrives when it’s scooped onto garlic bread. In Wang’s own words, this genius combination is “trashy-fancy.”
Tuna Tartare with Shiso and Sancho Pepper at Bar Spero (Washington, D.C.)
One of chef Johnny Spero’s main goals in preparing his tuna tartare is that magical melt-in-your-mouth experience. To achieve this, he uses a combination of loin and belly for an even balance of meat and fat. The tuna is seasoned with floral, subtly tongue-numbing Sancho pepper and a teeny bit of yuzu kosho for heat. It’s served inside a shiso leaf, so you can pick it up and eat it in one bite.