On an eating trip to San Francisco, we enjoyed a meal at San Francisco’s Aqua restaurant when Michael Mina was still the chef. Everything we ordered was delicious; there was not a single false note among the dishes we devoured.
At the time, Tuna Tartare was one of Aqua’s signature dishes, and rightly so. It was beautifully presented: a pile of chopped sashimi grade ahi tuna in the middle of a white plate, surrounded by piles of spices, perfectly ripe pears, mint, and habanero chiles, topped with a quail egg and dressed with sesame oil. With two spoons, the server mixed all the ingredients together tableside, and gracefully created a mountain of tuna tartare in the center of the plate, accented by toast points. The finished dish was amazing.
Shortly after returning to Alaska, we recreated Aqua’s tuna tartare. I make it regularly for special occasions; my husband wants it every year on his birthday and we often have it as part of our Seven Seafoods Feast on Christmas Eve. I’m always happy to make it; Aqua’s Tuna Tartare is delicious.