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Best steak tartar?

grandgourmand Apr 26, 2008 06:33 PM

I've had a couple really nice ones in TO. The horse version at Batifole is nice, but agree with some posters that seasoning may be a bit too much. Had weezie's last night. Damn, it was good. Meat wasn't diced too small. If any of you remember The Strand on Victoria St. (since closed)...they made a nice one.

Can anyone suggest who makes the best tartar in TO? To keep it simple, let's not cover tuna versions.

As an aside, the bison tartar at Au Pied de Cochon was probably the best I've had.

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  1. p
    pearlD RE: grandgourmand Apr 26, 2008 07:24 PM

    Now this is my kind of question!!!
    Steak Tartare is my very favourite thing to eat! The best two places in my opinion are without a doubt... Auberge du Pommiers and Bistro 990! I am not interested in any other version of Tartare be it horse, bison or tuna. It's BEEF STEAK pure and simple, preferably with the egg mixed in instead of sitting on top. Bistro 990's comes with a raw quail egg on the top..

    3 Replies
    1. re: pearlD
      xmtler RE: pearlD Jun 20, 2008 05:30 PM

      Sorry, but I feel that I must add my $0.02 to this discussion.

      I found the tartare at Bistro 990 to be awful. In fact, I didn't mean to insult the chef but questioned the waiter about whether it was possible that I was tasting ketchup - without batting an eye, he confirmed that the chef at 990 uses ketchup in his tartare! I don't wish to sound pretentious - but ketchup!?

      1. re: xmtler
        pearlD RE: xmtler Jun 21, 2008 06:15 AM

        That is so weird! I'm pretty good at detecting what's in my Steak Tartare and I simply won't believe that there's ketchup in it at Bistro 990...I'll have to go for Lunch and check it out...I have had it many times (Bistro 990) and this ketchup business simply sounds so strange ! It certainly calls for a re-visit...........

        1. re: pearlD
          hungry_pangolin RE: pearlD Jun 23, 2008 10:35 AM

          Actually, ketchup itself is not that unusual. If you could actually taste it *as* ketchup, then there was probably too much in the melange.

    2. City Girl RE: grandgourmand Apr 26, 2008 08:43 PM

      I had an amazing steak tartar at Didier. The seasoning was spot on and it came with all the traditional accompaniments. The only issue I had was that the portion was quite large, so worth trying though...

      Good luck!

      2 Replies
      1. re: City Girl
        mia_wallace RE: City Girl Apr 26, 2008 11:43 PM

        I'd second Didier too, it's incredible, melt-in your-mouth.

        1. re: City Girl
          acorn RE: City Girl Apr 28, 2008 06:30 AM

          I second didier. The rest of my meal was a little up and down but the tartar was grrreat. I found the portion size to be just right but to be fair to City Girl I'm a pretty big guy.

        2. c
          Cat123 RE: grandgourmand Apr 27, 2008 11:29 AM

          Le Select is pretty good. Comes with toast points and their incredible frites.

          1. w
            Westwardho RE: grandgourmand Apr 28, 2008 12:48 AM

            The best tartare I've had in the city is at Thuet at brunch. Globe has a tasty version of horse tartare. There is something about horse that is "sweeter" tasting meat than traditional beef. I found the same thing with the horse tenderloin at Via Allegro.

            1. Recyclor RE: grandgourmand Jun 20, 2008 05:41 PM

              Best I 've had is at Thuet, about a year ago, offered as an appitizer at lunch, portion is large and includes the quail egg on top...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Recyclor
                pantryraider RE: Recyclor Jun 24, 2008 02:25 PM

                Right there with you! The tartare at Thuet is wonderful - so smooth and delicious - I wish i was eating it right now...

              2. r
                rsvp7777 RE: grandgourmand Jun 21, 2008 06:56 AM

                Le Select is always very good. Bistro 990 varies according to how busy they are who's making it. I've had great ones and awful ones.
                Although I love Batifole, I find their horse tartare a bit rich for my taste and a bit too highly spiced.
                Nothing here, alas, compared to the ones you can get in Montreal, like at L'Express.

                2 Replies
                1. re: rsvp7777
                  Cam D RE: rsvp7777 Jun 21, 2008 09:19 AM

                  I would put in another vote for Didier for steak tartare. Batifole for the horse tartare.

                  1. re: Cam D
                    pearlD RE: Cam D Jun 21, 2008 10:24 AM

                    Looks like I'm going to have to try Didier's and Thuet's versions..as I have said previously the 'horse tartare' does not hold any appeal so I won't go to Batifole....Sounds like I have my summer lunches lined up!
                    BTW when I was in Savannah in May not one place would even 'allow' a rare to medium hamburger and they weren't too thrilled with 'very rare' Roast Beef. Forget about 'real Caesar Salad with raw egg as well!!

                2. m
                  msprnt RE: grandgourmand Jun 23, 2008 11:46 AM

                  just wondering ... since i've never had steak tartare in north america ... is it anything like this? (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia...


                  i've had similar filet americain in belgium and it was quite good ... definitely a lot more "melt in your mouth" than i had imagined, but is that what we have here (and is being discussed)?

                  i'd definitely like to try the horse and bison ... especially reading that horse is "sweeter"... i'd imagine the bison to be rather lean tho....

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: msprnt
                    grandgourmand RE: msprnt Jun 23, 2008 12:19 PM

                    That picture is a typical old-school version. But not dramatically different from what you'd see in one of the restaurants being discussed. Usually, circle formed, with bits of toasted baguette and cornichons.

                    The filet americain you speak of, I used to enjoy in Belgium in tartines. It was more like something you'd store in your fridge's deli drawer at home as opposed to something eaten at a restaurant. Filet americain is just the ground beef, when they add "prepare", it's with all the spices, etc. Nice stuff.

                    The horse at Batifole is nice. A bit heavy on the seasoning. The bison one I had in Montreal at Au Pied du Cochon was divine.

                    1. re: msprnt
                      OnDaGo RE: msprnt Jun 24, 2008 08:30 AM

                      The "premium" restaurants tartares are usually chopped on demand from a good peice of meat and seasoned and not as tightely packed. The picture looks more like ground meat for a hamburger patty and as someone mentioned above the picture seems to indicate Ketup as an ingredient which I have not seen in Toronto....

                    2. g
                      graydyn RE: grandgourmand Jun 23, 2008 12:13 PM

                      I had steak tartar at Canoe the other day an loved it, but I'm not experienced enough to know how it stacks up against the other restraunts mentioned in this thread. It came with a couple raw oysters wrapped in carpaccio, which was fun.

                      1. FrancoYYZ RE: grandgourmand Jun 23, 2008 12:37 PM

                        I would also throw in my vote for Le Select... Its quite tasty.

                        Regarding the ketchup in the tartare- many recipes call for ketchup... It is an unfortunate fact of life. However i would never say that you should be tasting the ketchup in your tartare...

                        1. w
                          weatherbie RE: grandgourmand Jun 24, 2008 08:06 AM

                          On Friday's you can usually get a decent tartare at Jules on Spadina. I've had it a number of times and it very good. The ketchup seems traditional, I've had ketchup in my tartare at a few places.

                          Jules Restaurant Tarterie
                          147 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON M5V 2L7
                          (416) 348-8886

                          1. mrbozo RE: grandgourmand Jun 24, 2008 09:12 AM

                            All you want to know about steak tartare, and more: http://thiswildride.blogspot.com/2005...

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