Aqua in Bellagio Tartar of Ahi Tuna

In a variation on that theme, ahi tuna tartar is a signature appetizer at Aqua in Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South, according to Mark LoRusso, executive chef.

The tuna, which is naturally red in its uncooked state, is shaped as a heart. LoRusso said his staff would present it as a molded heart on Valentine's Day on request.


  • 8 ounces sushi-grade ahi tuna, diced to 1/4 inch
  • 2 quail egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, infused with scraps of chiles
  • 4 tablespoons pine nuts, roasted
  • 4 tablespoons Bosc pear, diced small
  • 2 pinches red and green habanero chiles, minced
  • 2 pinches garlic, minced
  • 2 pinches ancho chili powder
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 8 ounces mint leaves, finely cut into strips
  • 4 slices white toast, crust removed and cut into triangle-shaped fourths


  1. Place a heart-shaped mold in center of each plate and fill with half of the tuna. Remove molds and place one raw quail egg yolk on top of each form.
  2. Drizzle half of sesame oil over tuna and onto each plate.
  3. Place half of pine nuts, pears, habanero chiles and garlic in small piles around each plate. Sprinkle plates with ancho chili powder, salt and mint.
  4. Place 8 toast triangles on each plate.

Yield: 2 servings

Posted by Tiffany at Recipe Goldmine 2/13/2002 9:49 am.