Best dishes countdown #69: Beef tartare at the Commodore


Classic is the name of the game at the Commodore. It had to be — the art deco grande dame was and is utter perfection before its recent restoration. To tinker with it too much would have been blasphemous. The cooking also needed to remain in the realm of old standards, which can be tricky to get right every time, yet accelerate enough to capture attention. 

The tartare does both things adroitly. A standard but delicious tartare is invigorated greatly by the addition of delicious refrigerator pickles, that are about as Minnesotan as the history that makes this place so great. It's simple, yet beautiful, time-honored yet adaptable, fitting its context in a just-right way.  The Commodore 79 Western Ave. N., St. Paul 651-330-5999

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99: Pappadams from the Curry Diva

98: The Kingfield at Five Watt

97: Raspberry Cream Scone at Sun Street Breads

96: Bacon and Bourbon from 6Smith

95: Biscuits and Gravy at Ward 6

94: Burgers from Peppers and Fries

93: The Everything Bagel from Rise Bagel Co.

92: Bent River Camembert from Alemar Cheese

91: Two large pizzas and a pitcher of beer, Original Red's Savoy

90: Boiled Peanut Hummus at 4 Bells

89: Chaksuka from Shish

88: Fried Green Tomato BLT from Butcher and the Boar

87: Charcuterie Board at Surly Beer Hall & Restaurant

86: Quiche from Le Town Talk

85: Aloo Tama from The Himalayan

84: Caramelized Cauliflower at Libertine

83: Banh Mi Joy Dog at Prairie Dogs

82: Salmon Poke at District Fresh Kitchen & Bar

81: Savory Waffle at Birchwood Cafe

80: Kofta from Mim's

79: Medianoche at La Ceiba

78: Spicy Golden Tofu from Peninsula

77: Chicken Fantastic from Safari

76: Ramen at Zen Box

75: Puttanesca at Foreign Legion

74: Salted caramel hazelnut tart at Eastside

73: Pastas at Monello

72: Housemade sausages at Ox Cart Ale House

71: Indeed's Rum King

70: Pernil from Tinto Cocina + Cantina