Tuna Tartare at Brother’s Bistro

Tuna Tartare at Brother's Bistro in Ottawa

Tuna Tartare at Brother’s Bistro in Ottawa

I was saddened to learn that Brothers Beer Bistro, down in Ottawa’s Byward Market closed for good shortly after my last visit to the Capital (no connection, I don’t think). For one thing, I am pretty sure it had the most comprehensive selection of foreign and domestic beers in the entire City, and their patio was a great place to have a few while watching the market in the summer.

 Their ever-changing menu also featured a lot of interesting dishes, many of which, such as their Grilled Octopus, for instance, I really enjoyed over the years. Their Tuna Tartare, shown above, didn’t quite fall into that category, however, but it was an interesting, if not very well executed concept.

The Tuna Tartare appetizer at Brother’s Bistro was described as ‘Fresh Albacore Tuna with Cucumber, Peanuts, Paprika Aioli, Lime and House Made Potato Chips’. It was quite nicely presented, I thought, but the actual experience of it was, unfortunately, not quite as good.

The Tartare was presented as a melange of diced Tuna, Cucumber chunks and crushed Peanuts in Aspic. This was not a typical Aspic Jelly Salad, at all. Rather, instead of there being any obvious jelly apparent, the Aspic was used in a very small amount to just hold the solid ingredients in the cuboid shape you see picture. There was a Lime slice added as a garnish, but there was also a little Lime Juice in the dish itself.

The main problem with this dis was the dominance of the Cucumber. Possibly, this might have been remedied by dicing it more finely, or cutting it in slivers, but really the ration of the Cucumber to the Tuna was too high and, as a result, the flavor, and even the texture of the Tuna was barely apparent.

The Lime juice also didn’t work here, in my opinion. That is a matter of personal taste, of course, and others might not agree, but I found it a little jarring. Lemon would have been better, I would think. I did like the Peanuts, however, their texture added to the dish, and their taste, though muted, worked well too.

The Paprika Aioli looked pleasing on the plate, and it was decent enough as far as taste goes, but it really didn’t add anything to the dish, in my mind. The chips, however, were nicely made and I would have eaten them all if I hadn’t planned to have the Steak Frites as a second course. I was impressed by the idea of the Tuna Tartare at Brother’s Bistro, when all is said and done, but it is a dish that needed tweaking.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!