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Joe Beef


Lesley C
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I'm planning reservations for upcoming our visit and have been itching to dine here for months. However, we are traveling with our four year old. I know Joe Beef is a small space. If we make our res for as early as possible, will it be appropriate to bring him, or is it fairly formal atmosphere? And, are they open on Sunday? I anticipate Fridays and Sat would be very busy, so I was thinking Sunday (or Thursday) might be better. Thank you for any guidance.

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Reserve a table for as early as possible, as in 6 but no later. And tell them your child is coming. I find dining early is the only way to go with kids, and telling the staff up front that you have a toddler in tow.

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I'm planning reservations for upcoming our visit and have been itching to dine here for months.  However, we are traveling with our four year old.  I know Joe Beef is a small space.    If we make our res for as early as possible, will it be appropriate to bring him, or is it fairly formal atmosphere?  And, are they open on Sunday?  I anticipate Fridays and Sat would be very busy, so I was thinking Sunday (or Thursday) might be better.  Thank you for any guidance.

Agree with Lesley about the early reservation. Do mention your young one will be along.

Just note that Joe Beef is not open on Sunday. Thursdays are as busy as the weekends and the atmosphere is most definitely not formal. In other words, no need to dress up too much.

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  • 4 weeks later...

By the way ... the patio out back is beautiful. Kudos to Fred and co. for doing such a kick ass job.

It's a wonderful spot to enjoy a leisurely meal. And Fred planted this sweet little garden right behind it ... lettuces, catnip, assorted herbs ... super cool.

Go check it out now.

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is Joe Beef mtl's best resto or just hyped cuz its fred and dave and in the gazette every other week???

i haven't eaten in all the great restaurants of montreal, but i can tell you this: if you love beautiful seasonal ingredients prepared with spot-on skill and refreshing irreverence -- plus a killer wine list that will take you wherever you want to go, then go. i got a table the same night i called (maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago?) -- it was for 9:30 but that suited us perfectly. the place was still jumping, the service was adorable.

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  • 1 month later...

Dinner last night: maccheroni with wild mushroom ragout and poached egg; a half Cornish hen, butterflied and grilled; collard greens. Two superlative glasses of Mission Hill Sauvignon Blanc. Heaven.

I saw rib steaks come out of the kitchen that I would step over my grandmother for.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Two and a half words

Bucket 'o' Chicken

Fried guinea hen served in a big bucket with the checkered paper and everything.

Crab Cocktail with hard boiled egg. Freshly shelled Dungeness with homemade cocktail sauce.

And believe it or not, Prairie Oysters with a tartar sauce served in a small mason jar. Balls in a Jar...who would have thought? Could it be the next "Duck in a Can"?

Only time will tell.

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  • 3 weeks later...
They re-opened yesterday. I'll be there tonight trying the rabbit roulade. They also have a "porkerhouse" on the menu for tonight. That's one helluva big chop.

A report on the delicious rabbit at Joe Beef the other night. Two meaty rolls of succulent, tender boneless rabbit meat stuffed with Black Forest ham, chorizo, Hungarian salami, rolled in bacon, served atop a rabbit jus, white wine sauce with chives, accompanied by savory clams, sauteed chanterelles and more salami slices.

To quote Snoop, it was "off the hizzle." Ties the Chinese-style rack of ribs for best Joe Beef main ever.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My wife and I took some friends to Joe Beef Wednesday night.

For starters we chose a Mushroom soup, a Smoked Salmon plate, and Sweetbreads with a Salad of Cabbage, Apple, and Bacon. At our server's suggestion, I took a glass of Beaujolais with the sweetbreads.

The starters were great. The mushroom soup was rich and creamy and topped with truffle oil foam. The sweetbreads and bacon were beautifully crisp and nutty and the cabbage and apples perfectly dressed. I didn't get a taste of the smoked salmon, but my wife and her friend seemed to be really enjoying it.

For mains we got a Hanger Steak with Beaujolais sauce, Braised Beef with Carrots, Chicken with Crayfish, and Sheppard’s Pie. We let our server pick the wine for us, a spicy Cote-du-Rhone which matched the food beautifully.

Many were the shameless moans of pleasure coming from our table as we demolished our food. Particular standouts were the braised beef which came with really, really fresh heirloom carrots and a roasted marrow bone, and the chicken, which consisted of braised legs sitting in creamy crayfish bisque and covered with fresh truffles.

The steak was tender and perfectly cooked and the Sheppard's pie was a deeply flavorful beef bourguignon topped with mashed potatoes enriched with aged Canadian cheddar. We shared little tastes of each other’s dishes and ooh’d and ahh’d a lot.

Desserts consisted of a crisp meringue with berries and whipped cream, and an éclair filled with chocolate nougat cream and brandied cherries. The servers brought out little pitchers of bittersweet chocolate sauce which they ceremoniously poured over the meringue and the éclair. That was really fun. One of our friends got a special dessert the kitchen had made just moments before: Canneles, which were perfect with a crunchy caramel exterior and a moist center. They came with pots of not too sweet apple sauce and Crème Anglaise for dipping. My wife showed remarkable restraint and contented herself with tastes off of everyone’s plates.

This meal was the highlight of our visit. The food was fresh and tasty. Our server was friendly, helpful and well informed about the food and the wine list. My wife and I were very pleased and our friends were thrilled. What a great evening!

Edited by rcianci (log)
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  • 1 month later...

My visit to Joe Beef.

I would first like to say sorry that I was so slow in posting this.

I arrived in Montreal on the train from Moncton at about 8:00 a.m. and after I got a hotel room on Saint Hubert, I went over to St. Laurent and found a place to eat breakfast.

I don't remember the name of the place (mornings aren't usually my best time) but it was off St Laurent on Prince Arthur.

It was nice to have something other than train food to eat.

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I had never been to that part of Notre Dame West before and I got a chance to wander around the Atwater Market a bit before going in to see Fred.

I liked the look of the place immediately.

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I introduced myself to Fred and I asked him if it would be all right if I could shuck oysters for him that night and he readily agreed.

He said that they would stick to the tradition of Joe Beef and if I did a day's work, they would feed me and after reading the reviews here and talking to my buddy John Bil about the food, I couldn't resist!

Fred told me to take a walk around and come back around 6:00 and everything would be set up for me.

I volunteered to help but Fred wouldn't hear of it so I took a few pics pre-setup of the bar.

I loved the look of the bar with it's scarred surface and the look of someone having attempted to strip the old paint off and given up after awhile.

My kind of bar!

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I came back at 6:00 and the oyster bar was totally set up for me and when you are an oyster shucker, you love when someone else does the hauling.

I think it is a great looking oyster bar. One of the best I have ever had the priviledge of working at.

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Now, here's something most guests don't get to see too often.

An oyster shucker's view of the room.

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I really liked the idea of having the menu and wine list on blackboards on the wall and requesting the guests to get up and take a look at what they have to offer.

The place filled up so rapidly it almost made my head spin and I finally got to shuck my first oyster on their bar and I picked a beauty.

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As the night progressed, I was mesmerized by the dishes coming out of the kitchen.

My mouth was watering everytime a server walked by carrying a plate.

I was watching Donna making the apps and they were gorgeous as you can see with this tomato salad.

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The kitchen was busy and I tried my best to stay out of everyone's way back there while checking out the food.

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The night progressed and I shucked my last oysters that night for the lovely Vanessa L. who I found out posts on this site as well and Kaunteya asked me what I wanted to eat.

I felt like a kid in a candy store as I looked over the blackboards and I finally decided on the braised beef that I had seen going out of the kitchen that night.

Vanessa was kind enough to make room for me at the bar so I could eat my dinner and this is what they brought me out. Vanessa also was a great dinner companion and I would like to thank her for her charming company.

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The beef was so tender that I didn't need a knife. And the marrow bone was the best I have ever had. Even better than the ones I had at the Bearfoot Bistro where I work in Whistler.

(Forgive me, chef!)

After the first couple of bites, I walked into the kitchen and bowed to Kaunteya and told him that I was not worthy. He laughed his ass off!

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After I polished off my dinner, Fred brought out some dessert.

An apple tartine that was to die for. I hardly had any room left but I had to try it.

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After work, we all took off to a bar in Old Montreal called of all things, Garde Manger and drank till the wee hours of the morning.

I want to thank Fred, Dave, Kaunteya, Genvieve, Donna and all the rest of the crew at Joe Beef for their unsurpassed hospitality and their kindness.

The food was excellent as was the company.

I would like to extend an invitation to all at Joe Beef that if they are in Whistler this winter that they are more than welcome to come and stay with me and I am sure that my chef can find something for Kaunteya to do while he is here.

Melissa was shocked when I told her that Kaunteya was definitely her match in the kitchen.

Props to all at Joe Beef and thank you once again! :wub:

Merci mille fois!!!!!

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

P.S. I had one more picture at Joe Beef but I promised Fred that I wouldn't post it here! LOL!

Ask him about it when you go in there.

Thanks for treating me like a rock star. Let me return the favour.

Edited by Oyster Guy (log)

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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Thank you and I truly and honestly apologize to Donna for the mistake!

Just put the knife down, Donna, please.........lol :laugh:

Thank you again for the info

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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  • 8 months later...

We were in montreal this week and decided to try Joe Beef from all the good reviews on egullet. We were not dissapointed and had a fabulous dinner! We sat out on the terrace, very beautiful, with a nice view of their private garden, such a good idea! We had a great bottle of french wine, one of Dave's picks. Then we started with malpeque oysters, so delicious, perfectly tasting of the ocean. I had the scallops with haricot coco, a huge portion and again, soooo delicious!! My boyfriend had the in-house smoked pork chop which was so tasty. It was HUGE too, he could hardly finish! The service was excellent and i thought the prices were very reasonable for the quality and quantity of the food! It was the perfect dinner except for i wish i could have tried one of each dish on the menu!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, it took me a while but I finally got a chance to go to JB last night. Since it was a last minute decision, I had called earlier in the day to make my reservation and booked their last spot at 9 :30.

The evening started rocky… as we got there, we saw there was two tables available, one banquette next to the bar and a small table for two right in front of the door. A couple had just gotten there before us and was in the process of being seated at that table but for some reason, the waitress went to get them and brought them to the better table in the back as we were just standing there watching the whole thing. When she came to us, my annoyed husband asked her why she moved these guests to give us the worst table in the place. She started explaining that they were here before us and that they had made their reservation months in advance (also turned out he was apparently some hot shot from Le Cirque in NY). It still made us feel like «second grade» customers and at that point I knew my husband wouldn’t stand for this and he would want to leave the place (I know, I know… he can be a bit of a diva sometimes! ;-)

So the waitress suggested we wait for another table to free itself and to have a drink at the bar in the meantime, which we accepted. And boy, was that the best thing we ever did!

Turned out David himself was tending bar that night. He had sensed that something was a little off after watching the previous scene from the corner of his eye and he immediately offered us a couple of drinks. He then also offered to sit at the bar, have a couple of apps and he would then give us the big table in the front window. That and the scotch made us happy and the evening took a turn for the best after that. We ended up sitting at the bar all night, eating, drinking and sharing a few laughs with David. He really made us feel at home and cared for us as if we were his only customers.

As for the food, everything was awesome. A few words come to mind to describe it : simple, fresh and abundant. We started with huge PEI oysters with Sancerre. On top of the two apps we were served afterwards (heirloom tomatoes with crouton & warm goat cheese and a salad with foie gras torchon), David brought us a plate of homemade rabbit sausage with pistachios. We were in tastebud heaven… The mains were off-menu items, since they were out of our first choices (the ribs and the lobster shepherd’s pie). We had seared tuna with foie gras on a bed of brown lentils and pork with scallops on mash. Both were very generous in size and very satisfying, if not a bit heavy since there was not veggie in sight. Wine was a great California red recommended by Dave also. No room for desserts but we finished off with a couple of digestifs.

So overall, we were extremely pleased with our evening. We had a real kick out of the cosy and laid-back atmosphere; the place has a fishing lodge/neighborhood tavern type of feel. The music was also up our alley, as David’s iPod is filled with some of my old faves : the Smiths, Violent femme, etc.

The bill was on the higher end but we enjoyed our evening so much that we didn't even care at that point how much it would be. A lot of stuff, mainly drinks, ended up being on the house. We were very impressed with David’s generosity, which definitely ended the evening on a high note.

Can’t wait to go back… it could possibly become my favorite hangout in the city!

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