Classic steak tartare, deconstructed.
As much as I love a perfectly executed plate of vegetables, I can’t help but succumb to a carnivorous carving when there’s tartare on the menu. With its simple list of ingredients, tartare is easy, in theory, enough to make, but without the perfect seasoning and balancing of those ingredients, it’s easy to mess up too. Here are eight tartares in Calgary that won’t let you down.
Alloy Alberta Beef Tartare
Chef Rogelio Herrera puts his worldly spin on the classic by adding heirloom tomatoes, chipotle jam and a mole verde. While you’re here, make sure to check out Alloy’s newly revamped back bar and cocktail menu.
220 42 Ave.. S.E., 403-287-9255, alloydining.com, @alloyrestaurant
Anju Spicy Salmon Tacos
Start off your dinner at this 17th Avenue S.W. go-to eatery with an order of these little packages of goodness. Avocado mousse, fresh-tasting slaw and chunks of salmon tucked into a deep-fried wonton “taco” shell.
344 17 Ave. S.W., 403-460-3341, anju.ca, @anjurestaurant
Avec Bistro Bison Tartare
The other famous red meat of Alberta, bison, gets all dressed in classic French-style and is topped with cured egg yolk and fried shallots here at Avec. Don’t forget to ask the server for a perfect wine pairing from the restaurant’s top notch wine menu.
550 11 Ave. S.W., 587-352-0964, avecbistro.com, @avecbistro
Cassis Bistro Beef Tartare au Couteau
Alberta beef is prepared traditionally and served with a pile of crispy duck fat-fried potato chips. A perfectly salty and crunchy way to get the tartare from the plate to your taste buds.
2505 17 Ave. S.W., 403-262-0036, thecassisbistro.ca, @cassisbistro
The Derrick Smoked Beef Tartare
The most dramatic of the list presentation-wise, The Derrick’s take on tartare features a smoke-filled dome arriving at your table. Once the the dome is lifted and the smoke disappears, you’re left with a delicious tartare with pickled vegetables and aioli on the side.
620 8 Ave. S.W., 403-475-7226, thederrickyyc.com, @thederrickyyc
Raw Bar Spicy Salmon and Tuna Tartare
As beautiful as it is flavourful, this fresh-tasting tartare sees the sustainable seafood tossed in a spicy dressing and served with crispy shredded lettuce, Asian pear and puffed rice crackers.
119 12 Ave. S.W., 403-206-9565, rawbaryyc.com, @rawbaryyc
Vintage Chophouse Beef Tartare
If you’re looking for a well-done and classical plate of tartare, there’s no place better than this steakhouse institution on 11th Avenue. It’s finished off with just a touch of truffle oil to give it a little extra depth.
320 11 Ave. S.W., 403-262-7262, vintagechophouse.com, @vintagechop
Whitehall Bison Tartare
For a creative take on the traditional, try chef Neil McCue’s tartare. Bison flank is minced up and served with house pickles, a little truffle and smear of charcoal with warm, toasted pieces of freshly baked rye bread.
24 4 St. N.E., 587-349-9008, whitehallrestaurant.com, @whitehallyyc