Dish of the Day: RN74’s Ahi Tuna Tartare

November 23, 2012

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been reprinting some of our favorite Dishes of the Day from the last year or so while we enjoy some time out of the office.

Here is an amazing dish from our neighbor, RN74.

I’ve been having a ball researching an article on Michael Mina’s RN74 downtown Seattle restaurant for Wine Press Northwest’s Spring issue. The restaurant opened last June, and is the sister restaurant to the first RN74 in San Francisco.

The Ahi Tuna Tartare is one of Michael Mina’s signature dishes among his 19 restaurants in major cities spread across the country–Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Miami, and Detroit, among others.

Served tableside, the waiter gently massages a quail egg yolk into a mass of the most perfect Ahi tuna chunks studded with toasted pine nuts, very finely diced Scotch Bonnet peppers and Asian pear, a hint of fresh mint, and the dense, unmistakable aroma and flavor of Asian sesame oil.

As chef Mina says, “The right tableside preparation creates a memory. For example, we deconstructed the Ahi Tuna Tartare years ago, and it has become one of our signature dishes. We mix the tuna, pear, Scotch bonnet peppers, sesame oil, and a quail’s egg yolk tableside. However, you can’t overdo this–you can’t do too many things tableside if it means other guests’ food is getting cold or if it interferes with the larger experience. Remember, it’s all about balance.”

“Balance” is important as Mina devises his dishes with “four basic elements:┬áspice, sweetness, acidity, and richness.”

For creating such a perfect balance, and such a memorable appetizer, RN74’s Ahi Tuna Tartare more than deserves our Dish of the Day.

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