Eugene, Oregon, August 12, 2014—
THERE ARE NOT MANY things I like more than a good steak tartare. After a long day's drive — ten hours — we arrived in Eugene where we like to eat at a restaurant we discovered a number of years ago. I'd fully expected to investigate its menu further, but immediately on seeing tartare listed among the appetizers remembered enjoying it last time I was here.
It's bistro food, and this is not really a bistro; it's a restaurant. Still, I was in bistro mood. We split a very nice lettuce salad in an anchovy dressing to begin with, and then I went on to the dish you see here — a rondelle of chopped raw beef, mixed with capers and chopped onion and cracked black peppercorns, and topped with a fresh raw egg, accompanied by its own lettuce salad and house-made potato chips.
A good steak tartare is a special kind of food: tasty and classical, but almost a medicinal, a restorative, as well as a food. Nourishing, sustaining, awakening, and very tasty. I almost hope to come here one day and find it not on the menu: then maybe I'll see what else these people can do…
Cötes du Rhöne, Chäteau de la Guicharde, 2012: organic, good terroir, earthy
• Marché, 296 East Fifth Avenue, Eugene; 541-342-3612