Playful approaches to top-grade tuna presented raw and pristine speak to chefs' ingenuity and diners' interests.
This article first appeared in the 1 September 2007 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).
R&I is the USA's leading source of food and business-trend information and exclusive research on operators and restaurant patrons. Editorial coverage spans the entire foodservice industry, including chains, independent restaurants, hotels and institutions. To find out more about R&I, visit its website here >>
By Allison Perlik, Senior Editor
Tunapica (pictured above)
Asia de Cuba, multiple locations. The Latin American ground-meat preparation called picadillo inspires an adventuresome approach to diced tuna. Toasted almonds, currants and coconut join the tuna between crisp won tons; the soy-lime dressing features shichimi togarashi, cayenne, coriander, curry powder and mustard seeds, among other spices.
Tuna Tartare 1
Nana, Dallas. Executive Chef Anthony Bombaci's colorful geometric plate presents cubed tuna drizzled with bright orbs of passion-fruit coulis, sweet chile sauce, soy-sesame glaze and olive oil. Wasabi, a natural companion, takes a nontraditional form in an ice-cream quenelle carrying a sesame tuile. Thinly sliced green onions and cilantro finish and freshen the dish.
Tuna Tartare 2
Morton's, The Steakhouse, multiple locations. The acidity of tomatoes and the creaminess of avocados supply nicely contrasting complements for coarsely chopped tuna in this tidy timbale at the upscale steakhouse chain. Sesame oil, soy sauce and Thai spices season the star ingredient, which is sprinkled with black sesame seeds.
Tuna Tartare 3
A Fish Called Avalon, Miami Beach, Fla. Angular layers of crisp, yellow malanga (a root vegetable similar to taro) chips distinguish Executive Chef and General Manager Joe Monteiro's mainstay starter. Gazpacho vinaigrette and basil flavor the top-grade tuna, which is tossed with white-truffle oil, basil and yellow peppers and crowned with wasabi-infused caviar.