First off I have to say that I love the idea of a tartare themed restaurant. Many places will offer a more standard preparation of a tartare whether it be beef, tuna or salmon which are all great but the way this menu works is unique and has something for everyone. So, let’s dive right into what they offer. Sit down before you read this next part…..ok good, Now you are ready for this. They offer NINE types of fish or meat for tartare! Definitely something I haven’t seen before and with some unique choices such as duck, veal, and lobster. I am salivating already at the thought of what the hell I am going to order. I am notorious for flip flopping and agonizing over menus. Check out their menu to see my dilemma.
The next thing you’ll notice, which also scores highly on the amazing meter, is that you don’t just tell your server “Hey, I will take the red tuna tartare please.” No no. There are thirteen different tartare preparation methods as well, ranging from classic French to innovative preps like Russian(with beets, vodka and more!) and Fresca(you had me at pineapple!). I am never going to able to decide what to get. I am going to be here all night.
After much internal struggle and changing my mind 78 times, let me take a moment to thank Melissa our server for her patience here, I decided that I simply could not decide. Luckily for me they have a Plateau Dégustation!
For a very reasonable 40$ this plate comes with 50 grams each of(as seen from left to right): spicy veal, Italian duck, classic French beef, Japanese tuna(just above the beef in the picture), and Thai Salmon.
I am a big fan of adding egg to a tartare so for a mere 3$ I ordered three quail eggs to top off the veal, duck and beef tartares. I don’t know about you but adding a quail egg to fish just didn’t seem right.
Let me give you a quick breakdown of each sample. Please. Let me.
Japanese Tuna: this is prepped with wasabi, soy sauce, tempura, ginger, shallots and chives. A pretty traditional type of preparation for tuna and very solid. My friend ordered the same plate and took some black tobiko caviar which I managed to pilfur for this and it paired fantastically.
Thai Salmon: Cilantro, Thai basil, lemongrass oil, lime and shallots. Please note I stole some more caviar for this. Great dish honestly. The Thai basil addition to this was phenomenal. This is turning into a great night!
French beef: Contains dijon, tabasco, capers, olive oil and shallots. I always love me a good beef tartare and this one did not disappoint. Great quality beef and next time I come here I look forward to pairing it with one of the more original styles offered. Oh good, here comes more Okanagan Pale Ale!
Spicy veal: Chilis, chipotle tabasco, olive oil and shallots. I admit, I had no idea what to expect from this or the duck tartare but holy hot damn this dish is blowing my mind! Just the right amount of heat, great texture to the meat…I am very impressed with this one.
Italian duck: Parmesan, truffle oil, shallots and chives. Ok, I didn’t think anything would top the veal but I could not have been more wrong. The duck meat is so silky that it pretty much just melts in your mouth. I was skeptical of a cheese being thrown in here but it adds a sharpness to this dish that, for me at least (Pete liked the veal a little better), puts this one at the top of my list tonight. Oh and look at that! Another beer!
Overall, for a first visit I think this was the perfect dish to try out. Without a doubt I will be back here again. The value you get for the quality of the food is exceptional. I enjoyed all five preparations and I’m really eager to try out some of their more daring styles.
For those of you who are on the fence about tartare let me add that there are other choices on the menu to appeal to everyone. BUT if you go here please take a chance and at least sample one ot two of these incredibly tasty, high quality dishes above. Coming here and not getting a tartare is akin to going to a vineyard and asking for water. Why would you do that?
They had a daily special of a Thai style duck sandwich that another friend ordered and he devoured it. The whole time he ate it he did not utter a word. It was pleasant to not have this guy talk for a few minutes so let me thank the chef, Patrick Cleven, for that brief moment of tranquility.
I can’t speak too much of the vibe of the place since we sat outside but it did seem pretty hopping and lively in there. Service ran a little slow at times but to their credit the staff is super friendly and really fun to deal with. The place was obscenely busy and good tartare is worth the wait so if it was a bit slow it really isn’t much of a complaint compared to the overall experience
This place is a must visit. Go. Now. Seriously.