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Symensma's wagyu beef tartare is poised to be another signature. Photo by Matt Nager.

This Is the Must-Order Dish at LeRoux

The head-turning wagyu beef tartare is evidence of pro technique and flavor—and it's an instant classic.

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Chef Lon Symensma has a knack for creating iconic dishes (see: the addictive fusion dumplings filled with French onion soup at his eight-year-old modern Asian restaurant, ChoLon). And just four months after opening his polished, European-inspired bistro, LeRoux, next door to ChoLon on the 16th Street Mall, it looks like Symensma’s wagyu beef tartare is poised to be another signature. It’s impossible to miss the appetizer as it’s whisked to diners in the candle- and chandelier-lit space: The dish is encased in a tall glass cloche that, when lifted, unleashes an aromatic cloud of hickory smoke. Once it clears, layers of sauce “gribiche” made with cornichons and smoked hard-boiled eggs, raw chopped beef, chive-dotted crème fraîche, and a generous spoonful of caviar are revealed in the shadows of impossibly tall waffle-cut potato chips. The presentation may be high drama, but the beautifully balanced plate, evidence of pro technique and flavor, isn’t smoke and mirrors—it’s an instant classic.

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