I went to Tartare on Friday night to celebrate my best friend engagement and was very pleasantly surprised. I was worried it is another really trendy restaurant with no substance but charge you a king's ransom anyway.
It's not cheap but considered the portions it is not outrageous. The food, service and decor was great.
We both cannot eat a lot so we split the Ostrich tartare, a lobster bisque, a tuna foie gras melt and a pistachio souffle. The portions were pretty generous. We each has a glass of wine. The bill after tax and 20% tip is about $140.
I love any kind of tartarte to begin with. I LOVE the Ostrich tartare. It has a linger refreshing fragnant, my girlfriend said it is probably fresh ginger. For me, this rivals the Aqua tuna tartarte and BIX beef tartare. The texutre, the flavor everything is just wonderful.
Lobster bisquue - We ordered that based on the recommendation from the table next to us and it was great. It was served with a roasted oyster and a littly seared (I think) oyster. The smoky flavor was just right and the seared one was just perfectly done as well. It is heavy on the oyster taste (not fishy) but I love it.
Tune melt - this is good but not as great as the other dishes for me. It was layered from the bottowm (I think) as follow: finely juliened fried potato "pancake", spinach, tuna that is very lightly seared at the bottom, foie gras with a sause that I can't quite remember what it was made of . The combo was different but it was a little too much sause and a little on the sweet side for me even though i like sweet sause.
The soffule was great as well, A little more "cakey" than I expect (compare to Cafe Jacqueline) but it was still wonderful.Even thought I was extremely full, I just have to keep eating.
All the food has great presentation. The server was very knowledgable. The Chef stopped at a couple of times. The decor is warm and friendly warm red and chocolate with warm lighting. Similiar color scheme as Frisson but warmer which I really like.
For SF restaurant, the noise is acceptable. The tables are close together so it is unavoidable but we had nice chats with the couples next to us.
Our whole dinner was over 3 hours. There were a little bit of dead space between courses but we were just chatting so it was actually perfect.
In short - love it. Almost didn't go because there were some mixed reviews.