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Run, don’t walk, to Beast & Bottle for the Uptown restaurant’s riff on tartare. The dish is back in vogue all across the nation, but Beast & Bottle’s stands out for its use of lamb heart. Because the cut is so limited (there’s one four-and-a-half ounce muscle per animal), executive chef and proprietor Paul C. Reilly has been diligently vacuum-packing and freezing hearts for several months. “We knew we wanted to do a tartare because I think [heart’s] texture is so akin to tenderloin,” Reilly says. “We also knew we didn’t want to do a classic steakhouse presentation.”
His solution: To follow the principles of kibbeh, a classic Lebanese dish usually made with raw lamb, bulgur, onion, and spices. Beast & Bottle’s version subs quinoa for the bulgur and incorporates local apples and Urfa biber chile. Reilly says the kitchen crew is currently obsessed with the jet-black Turkish pepper. “It has a dried fruit quality with a little heat, kind of like a Middle Eastern ancho,” he explains.
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The appetizer comes with paper-thin lavosh that reminded me of Indian papadum. Break off a piece and scoop up bites of the earthy, fruity, and delicate tartare. And do it quickly, or there won’t be any left. Reilly says the dish has “superseded expectations for sales” but it’ll only be available through the end of the month.
719 E. 17th Ave., 303-623-3223