Sultry summer days are the best times to enjoy cold meals, be it 2 towering scoops of ice cream or a bowl of soy slicked soba noodles. It is also a time for me to indulge in some steak tartare. While not served icy-cold, the raw meat dish is still chilled enough to refresh.
Yes, steak tartare is eaten raw, but lest one rejects it because it looks too gory to be eaten, let’s debunk some Mr Bean informed myths. The key to a good plate of steak tartare is good, fresh meat. If the meat is very fresh, the meat should not be pink or mottled, but a deep red, or in jewel-speak, a Burmese pigeon blood ruby. The taste should not be the least bit bloody or metallic, but savory. If well chopped by hand, the texture is firm but not mushy nor slimy. And no, the meat does not smell.
At Café des Musées, the kitchen serves a very good rendition of steak tartare, the meat ticking all the positive boxes for sight, smell and taste. Along with the meat are the usual accoutrements: worchestershire sauce, ketchup, mayo, chopped parsley, onions, capers and cornichons to provide heat, acid, sugar and brightness to the meat. I prefer mine with more vinegar, but as it is DIY, the balance is up to you.
Steak tartare is universally served with salad greens and fries, and the fries at Café des Musées are exemplary, slightly thick cut, soft and fried a few shades darker than golden blonde to take on a nut-brown hue. My dining companions, with whom I shared the copious platter of fries with could not stop popping the irresistible fries into their mouths even as they waved the white flags of surrender when it came to their equally large portions of well cooked meats. Such is the allure!
Café des Musées
49 Rue de Turenne, 75003, Paris