The Cannibal Beer Bar

At The Cannibal, dare for rare

Bobby Hellen and Christian Papanicholas have always let their meat do the talking.

The duo was among the first in the city to offer the now de rigueur whole-animal feast at their Murray Hill spot Resto. So it's not surprising that the menu at Hellen and Papanicholas's new beer-bar annex, The Cannibal, is heavy on protein.

For the neat freaks, encasement should be the chosen route. On a recent visit, the house-made bologna sausage ($9) had the zing of quick pickling and grappled in an athletic struggle with the accompanying sweet-pepper mustard. Those with tentative palates can stay on familiar ground with toasts weighted with mounds of ragù ($6).

But the best way to experience the carnivorous pulchritude of The Cannibal is with its tartare ($14). A veal version, just barely mixed with a swatch of aioli and Dijon and a few capers, comes as an unadorned rosy quenelle. Its creamy texture and pitch-perfect saltiness speaks more of an impeccable triple-cream cheese than of meat.

The classic iteration made with coarsely chopped ruby-red steak from Pat LaFrieda is simplicity at its most true and delicious–just lemon, chile flakes, olive oil, salt and parsley, arranged in perfect proportion.

Eat either tartare with the chopsticks provided and alongside a beer from the 300-plus list for a reminder that the classics never go out of style.

The Cannibal, 113 E. 29th St. (between Lexington and Park aves.); 212-686-5480 or