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Best steak tartare?

LaserStar Jul 10, 2007 12:32 PM

I have a huge craving for steak tartare and wondered where else than L'Express or Continental would be worth a visit? (l'Express is probably already fully booked).

I've searched the forum and didn't really find any clear answer.

Thanks a lot!

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  1. carswell RE: LaserStar Jul 10, 2007 02:09 PM

    Personal fave is Au Pied de Cochon's venison tartare. Leméac's truffle-scented beef tartare is pretty good, though a little bland as a main; it's also available as one of the post-10 pm specials. Azsu's beef is impeccable and chopped more coarsely than many, plus it's on the late-night bar menu. Others I've not tried but that may be worthwhile: Le Petit Moulinsart, Holder and, maybe, Frite Alors (though the fact that I've never seen anyone order it always gives me pause). When Le Tartarin was on St-Denis, they of course served tartare, and a fine one at that; don't know if they still do now that they've moved to the Jean Talon Market.

    3 Replies
    1. re: carswell
      Maximilien RE: carswell Jul 10, 2007 03:32 PM

      trufle-scented beef tartare ???? are you confusing yourself with the salmon tartare ?

      1. re: Maximilien
        carswell RE: Maximilien Jul 10, 2007 04:14 PM

        D'oh. Asleep at the switch, I guess. And APDC's venison tartare is now bison.

      2. re: carswell
        mainsqueeze RE: carswell Jul 27, 2007 08:44 AM

        The one at Le Petit Moulinsart is too salty, as is everything there.

        I personally enjoy the "Canibale" (horse tartare) at Frites Alors, but the last few times I've ordered it is hasn't been available (?).

      3. t
        thelonious777 RE: LaserStar Jul 10, 2007 03:07 PM

        I like Lemeac's a lot, plus its available on the after 10 set menu. Apart from the usual suspects named above, I had an interesting tartare at 3 Singes de Montarvie last summer. All the ingredients were brought out and you mix it yourself. I really liked it, but it was the only thing I really enjoyed about the meal.

        1. l
          lagatta RE: LaserStar Jul 10, 2007 04:00 PM

          I love venison - imagine I can pick up tartare-grade venison at one of the shops at the Jean-Talon market? That is, have the butcher mince it in front of me and get it home pronto.
          We couldn't possibly afford APduC...

          Will have to check out the menu at the new incarnation of Le Tartarin.

          3 Replies
          1. re: lagatta
            carswell RE: lagatta Jul 10, 2007 04:13 PM

            Don't do it. You have no control over how sterile the butcher's knives and cutting boards are. Plus, once chopped the meat has an exponentially higher surface area on which bacteria can grow. And grow it will in this weather. It's not hard to chop at home on a sterilized board with a clean sharp knife just before serving. Don't expect to find tartare-quality venison on the cheap, either. A rack of venison big enough for six set me back $90 at Boucherie du Marché last fall. Checking the menu at Pied de Cochon, I see the large appetizer serving of tartare (bison these days, not venison, it turns out) is $9.50 while the main course is $21. Hardly exobitant given the quantity and quality.

            1. re: carswell
              lagatta RE: carswell Jul 10, 2007 04:38 PM

              Yep, but those bottles of wine starting at $50 would make that unworkable. We don't go out every week, when we do, we do like to indulge and imbibe... I know such quality meat is expensive, but divvied up, and without all the surcharges, it remains far cheaper to do it at home. The question, as you rightly said, is food safety.

              And no, I wouldn't do that in this weather. (For non-MontréalaisEs, it has turned hot and humid)...

              1. re: lagatta
                carswell RE: lagatta Jul 10, 2007 04:48 PM

                Of course it's cheaper to do at home. But while no longer the bargain it was in its first year or two of operation, dinner at APDC doesn't have to be in the treat category. Their wines by the glass, beer and cider are all affordable. I've also had very enjoyable Cuvée Rézin reds there -- which would be perfect for tartare -- that ran around $30 a bottle.

          2. f
            foodismyfriend RE: LaserStar Jul 10, 2007 05:57 PM

            L'Express is still best bet in my opinion. Consistently good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodismyfriend
              carswell RE: foodismyfriend Jul 10, 2007 06:20 PM

              Not chopped by hand...

            2. cherylmtl RE: LaserStar Jul 10, 2007 08:14 PM

              Holder's tartare is quite good - athough it's chopped a little too coarse for my taste (I prefer mine fairly well minced), but it's certainly better than the one I had at L'Express a few weeks back, which was downright bland. I'm curious about the bison tartare at PdC - I wonder how it compares to the taste of venison or beef.

              As for making it at home, I've have tartare ground for me at Anjou Quebec - I take it home and refrigerate it immediately, and eat it within a few hours - but if you prefer it chopped, you can probably do it at home.

              1. c
                cricri7 RE: LaserStar Jul 11, 2007 01:08 PM

                I like the one at L'Évêque. They make you taste it before they bring it out so you can say something if it is not spicy enough for you.

                I did not personally have it, but some say that the one at M sur Masson is really good. If you try it, you should come back here and talk about it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cricri7
                  YUL PHL RE: cricri7 Jul 12, 2007 01:33 PM

                  I agree with Cricri on Chez L'Évêque. I had it there last time I was in town and it was one of the best I've had. Much better than Leméac.

                2. l
                  LaserStar RE: LaserStar Jul 27, 2007 08:24 AM

                  Thanks everyone for the advice!

                  I finally went to l'Express. I was really disappointed with their tartare, which was so salty my date never could finish his portion. The salad that we ordered with it was bland. Fish soup was also bland and not at all comparable to the many fish soups I had while I lived in France; and the croutons were too hard and the cheese burnt. The rouille wwas good.
                  When we told the waiter about the salty tartare and all he replied was "Excellent!"...

                  Continental's tartare was better in my opinion. Maybe the horse meat made the difference.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: LaserStar
                    mainsqueeze RE: LaserStar Jul 27, 2007 08:48 AM

                    I definitely prefer horse, venison, or bison to beef. All three are much tastier.

                    1. re: LaserStar
                      cricri7 RE: LaserStar Jul 27, 2007 11:56 AM

                      L'express is definitely over rated! One of my friends went there a couple of months ago, they had a reservation, and he had to signal the maître d' because they had been waiting for over 10 minutes and no one had answered them. They were three guys together and they were dressed down, but not sloppy, and they were completely ignored. I went there once and did not see what all the fuss was about. The food was ordinary and the service was really bad. If you are not well known in Quebec, they give you attitude and look down on you. It happened to me and to other people I know, even if we are people that dress up to go to dinner.

                    2. m
                      Maximilien RE: LaserStar Jul 27, 2007 06:21 PM

                      I tried the Tartare at Holder last week, I cannot say I really liked it. Someone else wrote that the meat was too coarsly cut and it might have been just that.

                      not bad, but not good either.

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