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Cote’s beef tartare sits over pink salt
The tartare at Cote
Gary He

13 Excellent Steak Tartares in NYC

Where to try the fresh and thrilling raw meat dish

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The tartare at Cote
| Gary He

The steak tartare doesn’t often get its due when compared to its cooked cousin, the burger, but it’s cooler in temperature, often daintier in presentation, and usually filled with bright, punchy flavors. The dish’s name is a French word that traces back to the 13th century, referring to the Tartars, a Central Asian tribe; but it also refers to a sauce made of pureed egg yolks, vinegar, chives, and oil, which was used in some steak tartare preparations in the early 1920s.

Ahead, check out 13 standout tartares in NYC, from French brasserie takes on the dish, to the Lebanese version, kibbeh nayah, to ultra-creative interpretations that resemble abstract art.

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Vaucluse

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Chef Michael White’s posh French restaurant on Park Avenue serves its tartare fancily plated as a meticulous disk of hand-cut beef mixed with egg yolk, chopped onions, and capers and topped with a fanned-out cornichon. The accessorizing doesn’t end there; dabs of a creamy horseradish sauce anchor watercress leaves, and there’s a white cup of toasted baguette slices for slathering. Also worth noting: It’s available at lunch as well as dinner, whereas many of the city’s standout tartares (save for classic French bistro types) are only a nighttime option.

A post shared by Vaucluse | NYC (@vauclusenyc) on

M. Wells Dinette

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This quirky Long Island City go-to serves its herb-filled steak tartare stacked on a bed of rice and topped with diced carrots, onions, and peas with mayo. There’s also chopped hard boiled egg whites scattered on the plate, but no bread of any sort. It recalls a cold Russian salad, creamy and flecked with dill. This preparation was introduced in summer 2018, and it’ll likely change again. Previously, the museum cafe served a steak tartare sandwich, with a plump, completely raw patty on a burger bun.

M. Wells Dinette Alexandra Ilyashov

Lebanese restaurant Ilili serves a stand-out kibbe naye beirutieh, a raw beef dish where the meat is thoroughly minced and mixed with bulgur plus finely chopped onion and mint. Add the crudités of onions, jalapeños, and mint for a dollar extra, which gives some extra crunch to the ultra-smooth consistency. It’s available for midday enjoyment, on the lunch menu.

ilili Photo via ILILI/Yelp

Chef Justin Smillie utilizes black trumpet mushrooms, anchovy, and egg yolk in his beef tartare at Upland, the crowd-pleasing, California-inflected Gramercy spot that’s part of Stephen Starr’s empire. There’s also some puffed farro in the mix, for a bit of crunch.

A post shared by Upland (@upland_nyc) on

Cote Korean Steakhouse

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The disc-shaped tartare at this modern Korean steakhouse consists of diced top-round beef, pickled mustard seed, pear, and crispy tendon puffs. This is the rare spot that doesn’t necessitate having a full-fledged meal in order to get some tartare, since the dish is on the bar menu as well, for something substantially lighter than the excellent group-format Butcher’s Feast.

Boucherie West Village

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The coarsely cut tartare at this French brasserie is mustardy, with a generous helping of capers and a quail egg yolk to be mixed into th emeat. It’s served alongside thin baguette slices and a tiny salad filled with that familiar bistro lettuce of choice, frisee. Enjoy it outside on the seating along Seventh Avenue South for prime people watching.

Photo via Boucherie/Yelp

Takashi

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Grilled meats and offal cuts are basically a requisite when ordering at this West Village spot focused on yakiniku, a tabletop Japanese grilling style. But be sure to check out the wide range of raw meat dishes on the menu, too. The chunky yooke is a particular standout of thin-sliced chuck eye crowned with a quail egg and served atop a shiso leaf. An ideal meal here ends with the vanilla soft serve.

Takashi Photo via Takashi/Yelp

Little Tong Noodle Shop

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Noodles are the obvious draw at this East Village noodle shop, but don’t miss the distinctive take on beef tartare on the menu here. The coarsely cut meat is paired with carrot for some crunch, alongside Sichuan butter for a bit of richness and heat. Instead of toasts, Little Tong provides a Chinese scallion pancake, though it may seem more akin to an Indonesian roti. Note that the tartare is only on the dinner menu.

Lafayette

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Head to chef Andrew Carmellini’s polished Noho brasserie and bakery for a classic tartare with a few subtle tweaks. Well-seasoned chuck flap meat is served with a quail egg yolk and plated with toast points, a handful of fries, and a snappy celery salad. Dollops of Tabasco-spiked aioli are perfect for dipping fries into or smearing with some tartare on a piece of toast. Like Boucherie, this is another viable option for eating tartare at lunchtime, outdoors.

Chez Ma Tante

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Looking for a particularly crunchy tartare? At this Greenpoint restaurant from Cafe Altro Paradiso and M. Wells alums, the coarsely cut beef is studded with dozens of coin-sized potato chips, propped up in lines and resembling glimmering fish scales.

A post shared by Chez Ma Tante (@chez_ma_tante) on

Raoul's

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While the famed burger at Soho bistro Raoul’s has lots of hype, the steak tartare is a sleeper hit. It’s served as a tidy brick of beef, topped with a quail egg and paired with toasts and a cornichon and frisee salad. If the burger runs out, this is a solid second best.

Raoul’s Photo via Raoul’s/Facebook

French Louie

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Owned by the same team as Carroll Gardens’ Buttermilk Channel, this Boerum Hill restaurant makes its steak tartare with egg yolk, chile oil, cornichons, and briny, crunchy pickled mustard seeds. It’s served at dinner as well as weekend brunch. Elsewhere on the menu, look for creative tweaks on French dishes and ingredients, like a savory foie gras parfait appetizer. When the weather is nice, hit up the tranquil backyard garden.

French Louie Alexandra Ilyashov

Le Sajj

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This Lebanese spot in Bay Ridge offers three variations of raw beef appetizers, all with particularly fine texture. Try the habrah nayeh, which is simply well-pulverized meat served along with mint and garlic sauce, and try it slathered on a pita.

Le Sajj Photo via Le Sajj/Yelp

Vaucluse

Chef Michael White’s posh French restaurant on Park Avenue serves its tartare fancily plated as a meticulous disk of hand-cut beef mixed with egg yolk, chopped onions, and capers and topped with a fanned-out cornichon. The accessorizing doesn’t end there; dabs of a creamy horseradish sauce anchor watercress leaves, and there’s a white cup of toasted baguette slices for slathering. Also worth noting: It’s available at lunch as well as dinner, whereas many of the city’s standout tartares (save for classic French bistro types) are only a nighttime option.

A post shared by Vaucluse | NYC (@vauclusenyc) on

M. Wells Dinette

This quirky Long Island City go-to serves its herb-filled steak tartare stacked on a bed of rice and topped with diced carrots, onions, and peas with mayo. There’s also chopped hard boiled egg whites scattered on the plate, but no bread of any sort. It recalls a cold Russian salad, creamy and flecked with dill. This preparation was introduced in summer 2018, and it’ll likely change again. Previously, the museum cafe served a steak tartare sandwich, with a plump, completely raw patty on a burger bun.

M. Wells Dinette Alexandra Ilyashov

Ilili

Lebanese restaurant Ilili serves a stand-out kibbe naye beirutieh, a raw beef dish where the meat is thoroughly minced and mixed with bulgur plus finely chopped onion and mint. Add the crudités of onions, jalapeños, and mint for a dollar extra, which gives some extra crunch to the ultra-smooth consistency. It’s available for midday enjoyment, on the lunch menu.

ilili Photo via ILILI/Yelp

Upland

Chef Justin Smillie utilizes black trumpet mushrooms, anchovy, and egg yolk in his beef tartare at Upland, the crowd-pleasing, California-inflected Gramercy spot that’s part of Stephen Starr’s empire. There’s also some puffed farro in the mix, for a bit of crunch.

A post shared by Upland (@upland_nyc) on

Cote Korean Steakhouse

The disc-shaped tartare at this modern Korean steakhouse consists of diced top-round beef, pickled mustard seed, pear, and crispy tendon puffs. This is the rare spot that doesn’t necessitate having a full-fledged meal in order to get some tartare, since the dish is on the bar menu as well, for something substantially lighter than the excellent group-format Butcher’s Feast.

Boucherie West Village

The coarsely cut tartare at this French brasserie is mustardy, with a generous helping of capers and a quail egg yolk to be mixed into th emeat. It’s served alongside thin baguette slices and a tiny salad filled with that familiar bistro lettuce of choice, frisee. Enjoy it outside on the seating along Seventh Avenue South for prime people watching.

Photo via Boucherie/Yelp

Takashi

Grilled meats and offal cuts are basically a requisite when ordering at this West Village spot focused on yakiniku, a tabletop Japanese grilling style. But be sure to check out the wide range of raw meat dishes on the menu, too. The chunky yooke is a particular standout of thin-sliced chuck eye crowned with a quail egg and served atop a shiso leaf. An ideal meal here ends with the vanilla soft serve.

Takashi Photo via Takashi/Yelp

Little Tong Noodle Shop

Noodles are the obvious draw at this East Village noodle shop, but don’t miss the distinctive take on beef tartare on the menu here. The coarsely cut meat is paired with carrot for some crunch, alongside Sichuan butter for a bit of richness and heat. Instead of toasts, Little Tong provides a Chinese scallion pancake, though it may seem more akin to an Indonesian roti. Note that the tartare is only on the dinner menu.

Lafayette

Head to chef Andrew Carmellini’s polished Noho brasserie and bakery for a classic tartare with a few subtle tweaks. Well-seasoned chuck flap meat is served with a quail egg yolk and plated with toast points, a handful of fries, and a snappy celery salad. Dollops of Tabasco-spiked aioli are perfect for dipping fries into or smearing with some tartare on a piece of toast. Like Boucherie, this is another viable option for eating tartare at lunchtime, outdoors.

Chez Ma Tante

Looking for a particularly crunchy tartare? At this Greenpoint restaurant from Cafe Altro Paradiso and M. Wells alums, the coarsely cut beef is studded with dozens of coin-sized potato chips, propped up in lines and resembling glimmering fish scales.

A post shared by Chez Ma Tante (@chez_ma_tante) on

Raoul's

While the famed burger at Soho bistro Raoul’s has lots of hype, the steak tartare is a sleeper hit. It’s served as a tidy brick of beef, topped with a quail egg and paired with toasts and a cornichon and frisee salad. If the burger runs out, this is a solid second best.

Raoul’s Photo via Raoul’s/Facebook

French Louie

Owned by the same team as Carroll Gardens’ Buttermilk Channel, this Boerum Hill restaurant makes its steak tartare with egg yolk, chile oil, cornichons, and briny, crunchy pickled mustard seeds. It’s served at dinner as well as weekend brunch. Elsewhere on the menu, look for creative tweaks on French dishes and ingredients, like a savory foie gras parfait appetizer. When the weather is nice, hit up the tranquil backyard garden.

French Louie Alexandra Ilyashov

Le Sajj

This Lebanese spot in Bay Ridge offers three variations of raw beef appetizers, all with particularly fine texture. Try the habrah nayeh, which is simply well-pulverized meat served along with mint and garlic sauce, and try it slathered on a pita.

Le Sajj Photo via Le Sajj/Yelp

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