HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


I like raw meat!

What are some interesting raw meat dishes around town?

My favorites steak tartar is at Russell House Tavern, but I haven't had any others in Boston so far.

Can't really do Kibbeh since it might have sesame seeds or pine nuts (allergic).

I've had "dancing shrimp" - Thai raw shrimp dish - at a couple places but its been a while.

What is kitfo like, and where's the best place to experience it? Is it just butter-laden steak tartare?

What other raw meats can I try around here? :)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've never had nor seen a recipe for kibbeh nayeh with sesame or pine nuts, Granted they are likely used in the same kitchen.
    That said Al Wadi serves an excellent version.
    I've had kifto at Addis Red Sea and at Fasika. Addis was much better. Fasika sort of seared it and that was wierd.

    3 Replies
    1. re: trufflehound

      I think it might have been their baked kibbeh that we were told had pine nuts.

        1. re: Prav

          No nuts in Kibbeh nayeh so go for it.

      1. I like the steak tartar at Eastern Standard (and it comes with fries!). They had a great venison tartar at Strip T's on my last two dinner visits, but I'm not sure if it's on the current menu.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kimfair1

          I came here to say exactly this, ESK has a dynamite tartare with great frites and the raw venison dish at StripTs was amazing (though their menu changes frequently). Couldn't agree more kimfair1 !

          1. re: cods

            I agree about the ES tartare with the caveat that I haven't had it since last summer. And my last several visits to ES since then have been very disappointing.

        2. The tartare/carpaccio "duet" at Deuxave can be excellent.

          1. Kitfo is much spicier than steak tartare. The times I've had it, the main flavor is intense chile spice.

            1. Forget kitfo, it's just spicy buttery tartare. For a unique flavor and texture experience, go to Habesha and order the gored gored (specify that you want it raw). This is larger cubes of raw beef, I'd say about 1/3" cubes of round or some other lean and moderately chewy cut. The sauce is an ultra flavorful butter with strong cardamom taste.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Luther

                Our crew will not forget the kitfo at Habesha, which we always order & like better than the gored gored - just a difference in tastes & textures for us, I guess.

                I'll also put in a plug for Grill 23's Steak Tartare w/gruyere wafers, shredded cabbage, deviled eggs.

                1. re: Taralli

                  Loved the kitfo at Habesha, too. So rich.

                  1. re: gimlis1mum

                    Everything at Habesha is delicious!

              2. While not animal Fugakyu used to do live black bass and live spiny lobster. Not as aggressive as live octopus but you can still feel the Push Back from the flesh and the looks from other patrons as your dinner looks around and open and closes its mouth (the Black Bass) is priceless.

                7 Replies
                1. re: ScubaSteve

                  "Used to" - sad, as I'd be down to try this. There're some really...interesting... videos of Korean bar patrons wrestling with "live" octopus suckers, drowning them with sake and jaw power.

                  1. re: Prav

                    On the Korean front, yuk hwe, which can be found at most of the restaurants here (though does contain sesame oil).

                    Also, chicken tartare at Yakitori Zai.

                    1. re: Nab

                      Why is it that chicken tartare just makes me flinch?

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        Chicken tartare is really delicious. I've only had it at a yakitori place in NYC but always get two orders. But, the version I've eaten, I *think* it was seared on the outside and rawish on the inside.

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          Probably because we are in American where the majority of chickens are raised in horrid conditions.

                          We last had chicken tartar at Ippuku in Berkeley and honestly, other than the shock value of eating raw chicken in America (as opposed to Japan), I didn't think the dish itself was all that special. Everything else we ate was much tastier.

                          1. re: StriperGuy

                            The chicken tartare at Yakitori Zai is really good. Very tender, which makes it have a very different feel than most raw meat dishes I've had before.

                        2. re: Prav

                          Did this in Busan, South Korea a while back when I was feeling macho. It certainly was an "experience" but not one I would repeat. I did not feel macho afterwards...

                      2. Russel House is my favorite for steak tartar. I love how dressed it is with lots of garlic, salt, and parsley.

                        Eastern Standard's normally is pretty solid, but last time I had it it was only fair. Slightly dried out and in need of salt.

                        I've done the kifto at Addis and felt the chili spice overpowers any of the flavor of the beef itself. So take that for what it's worth.

                        I'd love to find a place with steak tartar with all the fixings on the side for the customer to mix up on their own. I know I've had this in the past, but maybe not in Boston. Is there any place that does this?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Klunco

                          I had RH's last night, which inspired me to write this post. So delicious. I only wish they served more toast with it!

                        2. I've had good raw kitfo at Fasika with a nice balance of butter, spice, and meat. You do have to stress "raw" when ordering as they have a cooked version too. Their gored gored is tasty but I 've only been able to get it lightly seared/very rare instead of completely raw; sounds like I need to get myself to Habesha.

                          1. I love, love, love the steak tartare at Brasserie Jo: it's been my favorite and standard here in Boston, and I'm due a date with it soon. The steak tartare at Eastern Standard was good the times I've had it, but not finely minced enough and the consistency has been too loose for my preference. Let me know if it's changed there.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: marais

                              Interesting, my complaint about Eastern Standard's tartare the last time I was there is the exact opposite: too finely minced and too tightly packed. I like a true chunky handcut for my tartare. You may want to try ES again if that's your preference.

                              One of the best I had last year was at the wine bar Les Fines Gueles in Paris. Look at those chunks of beef!

                              1. re: marais

                                Brasserie Jo has my favorite steak tartare as well, but I haven't found the rest of the menu nearly so appealing.

                              2. Tavern Road has it on their menu.

                                1. Haven't had it in a while, but really enjoyed the straightforward version served at Drink when I had it a couple of times.

                                  1. Just an FYI - Shadi's in North Andover has raw kibbee on the week-ends, just bulgar wheat no sesame seeds or pine nuts, one of my fav dishes.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: treb

                                      Are they still doing it with lamb? last I heard it was a lamb/beef mix.

                                      1. re: ScubaSteve

                                        last time I had it I believe it was a blend of lamb and beef. A plate of that, some Hummus, fresh pita loaves and a nice drink.

                                    2. I have enjoyed Zihla at Asmara in Central Square, but it's been a long time since I've been.

                                      Edit: Looks like they have Kitfo too, but I've never tried it.

                                      1. try raw chicken with avocado at yakitori zai, delish

                                        1. Have you had Bo Bay Mon/Bo 7 Mon? Beef seven ways, a seven-course beef meal, Vietnamese. A bunch of places do it around Boston (mainly Chinatown/Dorchester), you can search Chowhound to see where places like best. At least one of the dishes is always raw (thin sliced, seasoned lightly).