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Lesley C

Joe Beef

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Sensorial said Joe Beef merited its own thread, so here we go.

Please post reviews here.

So, Sensorial, what did you eat?

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Thanks LC ...

Well the menu changes every day which is cool but I ate foie gras with a homemade fig newton, bacon and wild mushrooms, rabbit, a killer halibut dish with shellfish and Nolly Pratt, Cortez oysters and various other insane fresh fat oysters ... desserts were superb and playful, pot de creme with grape jelly, thick hot chocolate and assorted melon balls with lemon sorbet and a muscat soup ...

Nice wines by the glass and service with a smile (the waitresses are from Globe, Rosalie and Bronte - no complaints there) ...

Plus you have John, the oyster shucking champ behind the bar, so you really can't go wrong - John's in Ireland as we speak, defending his title (good luck dude) ...

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I'm glad to see Dave finally doing what he wanted to do all along. I remember him telling me it was his dream one day to open up his little place and cook whatever he felt like cooking, small and simple, fun and good. Congrats, Dave, all the best!


"Bells will ring, ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting.... the bell... bing... 'moray" -John Daker

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I loved Dave's cuisine at Globe and Rosalie..should be fun to see what he can do on his own without pressure! Cant wait for LC's review on the place too!

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Can anyone tell me what the price range is like at Joe Beef? I am planning to go but want to be prepared...thanks.

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Sorry to be the guy who does this - but does anyone have the address, phone number, and closest Metro stop?

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Sorry to be the guy who does this - but does anyone have the address, phone number, and closest Metro stop?

gallery_8756_1791_5870.jpg

Here's a map. The closest metro station is Lionel-Groulx.

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wine list is cheap

Mainly french wines? Would you be able to define cheap a little better..... ?

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wine list is cheap

Mainly french wines? Would you be able to define cheap a little better..... ?

french, australia, very little us on that night. lots of wines from s. america and spain/chile/arg/other latino places

david is not really a wine guru but he enjoys good stuff. btw he looks v. happy with his new place not cranky and miserable like i used to see him at globe and rosalie. strange that tehre are no french fries on the menu but i forgot to ask david why.

in time i hope they get a proper sommelier or maybe just consult with one. the placeis so small there is no room for a big wine cellar. from globe you would think there would be more cali cult cabs but there was not even one that night. i think they are aiming at the common man and keep it all v. democratic with good wines good prices. a good place maybe to learn about new wine regions for value wines.

many wines at $40

most at $50

a few at $60

very few above $80

there is a special stash of secret wines you can ask for. wierd stuff from spain. they will also take special requests for wines if there is somethign you want and are regular coustomer

seghesio zinfandel at $60

there was la fleur de petrus at $120. this is crazy because at the saq it is $100!

dominique portet $60

jp moeix pomerol $50

some burgundy in the $50-$60 range, i had a glass and was not impressed

something from stellenbosch, SA

right now there is nothign special on thee wine list but i think in time they will add more wines. keep in mind the winelist it changes all the time based on what david is cooking and serving.

i hope that when carswell and jfl and other wine gurus go there we will have more reviews of people that know the wines of burgundy and south america and spain. these regions are not for me.

the wine list is not bad for such a new resto; but i do not know if this will be a place for real wine gurus. this is for david and fred to decide!

i am curious to see lesley's review of the place.


Edited by Vinfidel (log)

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wine list is cheap

Mainly french wines? Would you be able to define cheap a little better..... ?

french, australia, very little us on that night. lots of wines from s. america and spain/chile/arg/other latino places

david is not really a wine guru but he enjoys good stuff. btw he looks v. happy with his new place not cranky and miserable like i used to see him at globe and rosalie. strange that tehre are no french fries on the menu but i forgot to ask david why.

in time i hope they get a proper sommelier or maybe just consult with one. the placeis so small there is no room for a big wine cellar. from globe you would think there would be more cali cult cabs but there was not even one that night. i think they are aiming at the common man and keep it all v. democratic with good wines good prices. a good place maybe to learn about new wine regions for value wines.

many wines at $40

most at $50

a few at $60

very few above $80

there is a special stash of secret wines you can ask for. wierd stuff from spain. they will also take special requests for wines if there is somethign you want and are regular coustomer

seghesio zinfandel at $60

there was la fleur de petrus at $120. this is crazy because at the saq it is $100!

dominique portet $60

jp moeix pomerol $50

some burgundy in the $50-$60 range, i had a glass and was not impressed

something from stellenbosch, SA

right now there is nothign special on thee wine list but i think in time they will add more wines. keep in mind the winelist it changes all the time based on what david is cooking and serving.

i hope that when carswell and jfl and other wine gurus go there we will have more reviews of people that know the wines of burgundy and south america and spain. these regions are not for me.

the wine list is not bad for such a new resto; but i do not know if this will be a place for real wine gurus. this is for david and fred to decide!

i am curious to see lesley's review of the place.

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Had a very nice dinner at Joe Beef ce soir, it was great to see Dave smiling and happy. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was cool!

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Was there last week, we had great oysters shucked in front of us, by Dave..himself..some great smoked scallops, smoked oysters from Quadra island......great clams on the half......roasted foie gras appetizer....The menu is short. The prices are not that cheap, the place is very cozy, already looks like its been around for a few years. Will go back for sure for a late snack !!!

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Last weekend while walking along Notre Dame I stopped to admire the facade of newcomer Joe Beef. In the window there was an enormous squash resting on a butcher block, next to it a lovely vase of fresh flowers. It looked really inviting. Cozy, low key. I decided to make a reservation not having heard much about the place.

We dined there last weekend. The place was jam packed.

Service is super- friendly and gracious. Our waitress recommended the fresh watermelon martini which we found a bit too sweet and not that smooth, a surprising choice for a fall cocktail.

We tried three appetizers: the beet fennel salad with chevre, fois gras chaud on ginger toast and the highly recommended cape breton oysters which were exclusive to the restaurant.

The beet salad consisted of large quarters of golden beets, fennel shavings, topped off with a huge dollop of chevre. It was a very generous portion which unfortunately got pretty boring pretty fast. No inspired flavor, not even salt.

The fois gras on ginger toast could have been great but also failed to please. The foie gras was massive, cool in the center but the problem was with the fried ginger toast, which left a bad aftertaste of gristle.

The special import oysters were medium sized to large, fresh, served on a bed of ice and had a nice texture but there was no sparkle or sea salty briny taste, very strange.

The appetizers are not cheap $12-$21, the oysters $31 a dozen.

Our mains:

(Halibut, Fried Scallops and Lamb)

The halibut with marjoram was served piping hot in individual pottery bowls; it was perfectly cooked. The filet was in a broth I can’t recall (cream or yogurt base?) with a hint of marjoram. It was a tad bland and some of our crew found it surprisingly boney for a filet.

Fried scallops and frites a la fish n’ chips were presented in a cute stainless steel mini bucket. The greaseless pale-looking batter did not adhere to the plump scallops, which meant you could eat either the batter or a naked scallop but you couldn’t eat a “fried scallop.”

While the rack of lamb was tender and juicy it looked conventional next to its overly sweet fresh mint chutney. The chutney was really quite awful.

The vegetable sides of romanesco and potatoes were plain looking and seemed an afterthought. The way in which they were presented, squished into small side plates, did not help.

Dessert was so lame I’d rather not elaborate.

The evening was not exactly a culinary experience and it was pretty expensive to boot. Again the staff are terrific, no complaints there but the food seems amateurish, almost institutional. Not sure who is in the kitchen.

Perhaps its just growing pains, let’s hope so. It sure doesn’t leave one with the impression that there is a discerning chef at the wheel.

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I had restaurant Joe Beef cater a Brunch event at my home on Sunday and I must say they were just great!

John was shucking and educating my guests about oysters, besides the fact that they were dilicious it was also quite entertaining WHAT A HIT!

Fred prepared us chilled New Brunswick salmon with house confiture,Nova Scotia lobster with tarragon mayo, shrimps,an amazing hot mussel soup, a frittata with caramlized onions & pasta served with tomatoes and 26 month aged cheese.

I never really had a chance to taste the sliced steak but it must of been good...for desert;Fred prepared a warm sourdough bread pudding with caramel which was also quite intresting.

I'm glad I chose these guys to take care of my brunch I would definitely do it again.

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all you people that say the prices are not cheap, onionbreath + bigorre

what is cheap for you?

this is not mcdo or buffet maharaja or peelpub spaghetti $0.99

this is not one but twoof the best chef in the city and also a famous oyster champion for veryreasonable priced food

i think onionbreath was in a bad mood that night (drink more wine to be happy next time) or maybe you are another person in montreal that wants to get something more than what they paid and then complain about it after

in time i think these guys will have a classic like l'express but more montreal not montreal pretending to be paris

now we are seeing a trend where great cooks in montreal are trying something new on their own smaller more personal, not trying to compete with new york or toronto or really bigger cities. joe beef is reflecting montreal and i hope it is new classic. we are luck to have even 2 good restos opening new each year, in my old home of new york there is 2 for each day of the weekend, but here we have a chance to make somehting unique and small and special like montreal

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I went to Joe Beef last minute friday night for the last service (21h30) and it was really good. I am maybe not the best reference since I know Fred really well but me and my friend had a nice dinner. Everything was up to what it is supposed to be, ''quality''. The place do not pretend to be ''haute gastronomie'' and it's fine like that. But don't get me wrong, the food was really good last night.

I had some nice oysters and a lobster spaghetti that was really delicious. The lobster was cooked perfectly and the pasta were perfectly seasoned (not too much, so the lobster was tasting for real).

My friend had a nice piece of beef that was looking good.

Overall, the place is really small but it's good like that and if Fred and David continue on this way, the place will be really popular soon. The place feel warm, causy, I like it.

The wine list, for sure I am never happy with the most restaurant list anyway, so my opinion is bullshit.

The restaurant is new and I am sure the wine list will get better and better. They just need some good private imports to go with the oysters, some good Grand Cru Chablis like Dauvissat, Raveneau, Verget, Fèvre etc... These Chablis are not expensive and will go perfectly with some ''coquillage'' they have there.

Maybe some nice Champagne would be good too. And I would like to see some good Rhones there, Cornas, Hermitage, CNdP and some Cote-Rotie (that would be perfect with the kinda of meat they serve).


Edited by jfl91 (log)

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all you people that say the prices are not cheap, onionbreath + bigorre

what is cheap for you?

this is not mcdo or buffet maharaja or peelpub spaghetti $0.99

this is not one but twoof the best chef in the city and also a famous oyster champion for veryreasonable priced food

i think onionbreath was in a bad mood that night (drink more wine to be happy next time) or maybe you are another person in montreal that wants to get something more than what they paid and then complain about it after

in time i think these guys will have a classic like l'express but more montreal not montreal pretending to be paris

now we are seeing  a trend where great cooks in montreal are trying something new on their own smaller more personal, not trying to compete with new york or toronto or really bigger cities. joe beef is reflecting montreal and i hope it is  new classic. we are luck to have even 2 good restos opening new each year, in my old home of new york there is 2 for each day of the weekend, but here we have a chance to make somehting unique and small and special like montreal

Vinfidel,

I am relieved to see a trend towards the smaller, less glitzy style of restaurant. The concept is terrific. That was why we chose to dine at JB in the first place.

A restaurant on this model has to have a concise and appealing menu of what is fresh and outstanding in the market. That is the only way to offer value to the customer and to justify premium prices. The food can be elaborate or minimalist, modern or classic depending on the chef’s style, but flavors have to come through and ingredients must be of the highest standard. The ingredients were good, but of the many dishes we tried, all lacked the intense or subtle flavors of great food.

I admit “cheap” was not the right choice of word but lets talk about value here. It was too easy to spend $64.00 and get 12 average oysters and 4 breaded scallops with fries. The chef’s input was to create sauces and quickly deep fry. Both the mignonette with the oysters and the tartar sauce with the scallops were tasteless.

Does shucking oysters and serving up pre-cooked cold lobster plates define a chef’s cooking abilities?

To praise the chefs at JB as trendsetting local heroes, “the best in the city” is a bit much at this stage. Menu prices are high and a very limited segment of the population can spend $125+/per person for dinner. At that price point comes expectations of excellence.

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how did you arrive at the $125 per person price? from your 'review' i guess there was 3 of you

so your dinner was $375 for 3 persons inluding wines i guesss

assuming $20 per appetizer, $30 per main, and $10 for dessert, that still leaves a lot unexplained

how did u arrive at this price?

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how did you arrive at the $125 per person price? from your 'review' i guess there was 3 of you

so your dinner was $375 for 3 persons inluding wines i guesss

assuming $20 per appetizer, $30 per main, and $10 for dessert, that still leaves a lot unexplained

how did u arrive at this price?

Food (3 courses/per person) $60- 70.00 Wine( 1/3-1/2 bottle per person) $ 20.00 Drink $ 10.00 Water $ 3.00 Tax and Tip $15.00 +$15.00= $ 123.00 to $133.00.

This is with a lower end wine, of course you could splurge.

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The thing is that kinda of food is expensive at first. Fish, seafood are expensive and I think JB deal nicely with the prices of the dishes.

Restaurants in Montreal are not expensive, price are the same since a long time but ingredients are more and more expensive.

I am sure these guys are doing this for the passion but I am sure they want to make some money also on top of that. I agree 100% with that and if they make enough to buy some nice bottles of wine, good!


Edited by jfl91 (log)

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how did you arrive at the $125 per person price? from your 'review' i guess there was 3 of you

so your dinner was $375 for 3 persons inluding wines i guesss

assuming $20 per appetizer, $30 per main, and $10 for dessert, that still leaves a lot unexplained

how did u arrive at this price?

Food (3 courses/per person) $60- 70.00 Wine( 1/3-1/2 bottle per person) $ 20.00 Drink $ 10.00 Water $ 3.00 Tax and Tip $15.00 +$15.00= $ 123.00 to $133.00.

This is with a lower end wine, of course you could splurge.

ok i did not realize u include tax and tip

like jf said oysters and lobsters and scallops are not cheap

sorry u did not like it there hope that you will go back

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I was at JB last night. We sampled oysters, foie gras, salads, duck, steak, cod and lobster spaghetti. All dishes met with highly positive reviews. It was nice to see the kitchen not skimping on the foie as it was a quite generous portion, especially with a very reasonable price tag of $18.

The atmosphere is great unless you are into estimating how many million the owners spent on the place. Dave and the gang have done a nice job of creating a comfy space that has a casual, comfortably boisterous atmosphere that permeates an environment where the food is the star of the show. It was crowded but not uncomfortably so, as I feared it might. As a matter of fact everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and laughter was abundant.

The wine list is good and provides a nice choice of new and old world selections and DM, as many are aware, has a sommeliers nose for pairings.

If there is a complaint it would be that some found the portions too large and were embarrassed to leave such delectable food on the plate.

I’ll be heading back before long, but next time I think I’ll skip lunch in preparation.

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Joe Beef will be closed for three weeks during the holidays ... re-opening either Jan 12 or 15, Fred told me today and now I can't remember, damn

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