No. 17: Wayfare Tavern's Steak Tartare

new flavor compounds form. Meanwhile, if you're lucky, there's enough fat in the cut to melt, infusing the beef with even richer flavor. In comparison, the thought of eating raw beef seems like a rather austere experience. Even — gasp — healthful.

The surprise of Michael Thiemann and Tyler Florence's steak tartare at Wayfare Tavern is how unctuous it is. Once you've stirred an egg yolk into the heap of deep pink steak, flecked with chives and microgreens, and spooned a little beef on a crisped cross-section of popover, that first bite comes across as unnaturally rich.

The filet mignon is hand-chopped until it is broken down into pearl-sized chunks, then tossed with a mustard dressing that isn't biting so much as it is piquantly earthy. Occasionally, the spoonful you're eating will snap a deep-fried shallot, and its nutty sweetness will flare; other times, you'll catch a slightly larger fleck of garlic brushed onto the buttered popover. Absent: the metallic brightness of blood, or any hint of gristle. Most likely, you may find yourself at loss to figure out the feats of chemistry — or even alchemy — that can make lean raw beef taste meatier and more satisfying than a BK Triple Stacker.

Tags: , , ,

Related Stories