Location: 2491 Notre-Dame Street West, Montreal, Quebec
Joe Beef is frequently called one of the best restaurants in Canada, so if you find yourself in Montreal and you don’t mind splurging a bit (okay, a lot — it’s pricey), it’s a must.
I tried a few things. The first was… some kind of tart? This wasn’t on the regular menu and I forgot to take a picture of the blackboard where they wrote down the specials (I also forgot to take a picture of the inside of the restaurant — I’m really good at blogging, as you can tell).
I’m not even sure how to describe this thing. It was somewhat souffle-esque, and it was absolutely drenched in an ultra-rich, buttery sauce. It was outstanding. It’s exactly the type of dish you’re hoping to eat at a really nice restaurant; it’s a delightful alchemy of luxe ingredients and high-end techniques that you could never possibly replicate at home, or even in a normal restaurant kitchen. Every bite was pure magic.
Next up was the “côte de veau sauce ‘vieux téléviseur'”, which was a veal chop covered in an ultra-rich, buttery sauce (ultra-rich and buttery is definitely a theme at Joe Beef). This was just as good as the tart, with the tender beef being absolutely jammed with flavour, and with the rich sauce complimenting it perfectly. It seems relatively simple, but holy moly, the extent to which this was better than pretty much any other steak I’ve ever had was insane.
The side was some kind of braised greens (this also wasn’t on the menu, so I’m not sure exactly what it was). This was a pretty standard version of this dish — tasty, but not mind-blowing. My photo of this turned out pretty blurry, so you’ll have to use your imagination. It was just a pile of greens on an oblong plate, so not much imagination is required.
The only big let-down of the night was, oddly, one of Joe Beef’s signature dishes, the lobster spaghetti. This was perfectly delicious, but the heavy cream sauce was one-note rich, and the chunks of lobster were overcooked. It certainly wasn’t unpleasant to eat, but coming from a restaurant of this caliber, it’s a disappointment.