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Jul 10, 2007 12:32 PM

Best steak tartare?

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. 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

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

      1. re: Maximilien

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

      2. re: carswell

        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. 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. 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

            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

              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

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

            1 Reply
            1. 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.