- Michael Mina
- Bellagio, 693-8865.
- Thursday-Tuesday, 5:30-10:30 p.m.
San Francisco-based chef Michael Mina’s first Las Vegas restaurant—originally known as Aqua—has been a paragon of fine dining on the Strip for years. Known for its signature American cuisine, impeccable wine list and peerless service, Michael Mina Bellagio is a can’t-miss classic. Among the handful of dishes that define the restaurant and Mina’s cuisine is the tuna tartare, probably the most popular opener on the menu. With a high-quality piece of fish, you can replicate Mina’s classic at home.
Tartare of Ahi Tuna
1 lb. sashimi-grade ahi tuna, cleaned
¼ tbsp. garlic, minced fine
2 pears, peeled and diced
2 green jalapeños, minced, seeds reserved
2 red jalapeños, minced, seeds reserved
¼ bunch mint leaves, chiffonade
6 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
¾ cup sesame oil
8 slices white bread for toast
6 quail egg yolks, reserved whole (or substitute 2 large eggs)
1½ tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. ancho chili powder
Method: Cut the tuna into small cubes, making sure no sinew is left behind. Store chilled. Make sure chilies are diced fine and seeds are removed, and mix together. Add chili seeds to sesame oil, and heat lightly in a pan to infuse oil. Strain through fine mesh strainer when desired heat is achieved, and allow oil to cool.
At the restaurant, the tuna is packed into a ring mold and served with egg yolk on top and other ingredients surrounding it, then mixed vigorously in front of the guest. For easy service at home, mix the tuna, garlic, pears, jalapeños, pine nuts, infused sesame oil, egg yolks and salt thoroughly and serve on a well-chilled plate with toast points. Ancho chili powder and mint should be sprinkled on top.