Friday, March 30, 2018

Paris -- Lebanese Steak Tartare

Kibbe nayeh (Lebanese steak tartare)
Last year, my  Parisian friend Tania, a wonderful Lebanese woman living in Paris, and I went to brasserie le Stella, where I had a perfect steak tartare. Knowing that I would be in Paris this week, without Joan, who can't eat beef, Tania invited me for a lesson and then meal of which the principal element was Lebanese steak tartare (kibbe nayeh). Getting there was fun, but not as much fun as the tasting portion of the evening, for this is an extraordinary dish, made with incredibly lean beef, fine bulgur wheat, onions, garlic and special spices.

Tania proudly displaying her handiwork
Of course, chez Tania one does not get a single dish. We had wonderful salad of olives and homemade pickled, turnips,

Marinated olives and home-pickled turnips
roasted cauliflower with tarator (tahini and lemon sauce)

Roasted cauliflower
 and a kind of mint covered hamburger made with some extra ground beef.

Mint-covered hamburger
Sophisticated Lebanese food, especially chez Tania, is really great: impeccable ingredients, pure flavors with lots of interesting spices (like Tania's own nine-spice blend) and varied textures.

And a night at Tania's is not just about the food: it's about sharing stories and food lore with this warm and intelligent lady.

Bobby Jay

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