Dish No. 14: Tuna Tartare at Nougatine
Lauren Shockey Tuna tartare, JGV style
Tuna tartare, which seemed so exotic back in the mid-'90s, has become something of a derided appetizer in recent years. But every now and again, it's nice to revisit those foods and marvel anew at them. Jean-Georges Vongerichten's classic tuna tartare at Nougatine, his more affordable offshoot inside his eponymous Jean Georges, is one such example.
The dish places a mound of finely minced tuna atop an avocado puree, crowning the whole mixture with sliced radishes drizzled with chile oil for a touch of lingering heat. A gingery dressing forms a pool at the base of the bowl, adding a flash of spice to the mellow avocado and fish. The appetizer as a whole resembles a sort of lotus flower coming up from an Asian lily pond, but tastes, of course, much more like the sea.