Joe Beef, Montreal Restaurant
2491 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC H3J 1N6
In 2011, the Montreal Gazette asked: "With no tablecloths, square plates or amuse-bouches, and a menu listed on
a blackboard, could Joe Beef represent the new breed of four-star restaurant?" Restaurant critic Lesley Chesterman answered
with a resounding "yes," and called the restaurant in the city's Little Burgundy neighbourhood "awesome."
few years later, we have to agree.
Nothing we read prepared us for a dinner at Joe Beef. With just 3 nights on a Montreal
trip, we hungered for memorable, exceptional experiences. The concierge at the Queen Elizabeth seemed genuinely surprised
when we told him that we had called them same day and gotten a reservation, (though admittedly for seats at the bar). We were
considering cancelling, as online reviews seemed hit and miss. Based on his enthusiastic response, we kept the reservation.
Beef is intentional.
It is a dining experience that evolves, especially on the first visit. From the taxi ride just
outside downtown Montreal into the "Little Burgundy" neighbourhood ,to the absence of printed menus or wine lists.
Yet this is expensive-or at least not cheap-fine dining. Arriving with per-conceived ideas about what a fine dining restaurant
should be will not serve you well-you will be disappointed, as many who write to TripAdvisor are.
clearly know what they are doing. Service is excellent, though of a matter of course, informal. The wine choices are astounding,
particularly in the realm of French vintages. The portions are huge-go with an appetite.
Joe Beef means to challenge
ideas about what a good restaurant is. Clearly the answer here is well conceived and well prepared food. There is a deliberate
playfulness here, and perhaps a desire to poke French haute cuisine in the eye.
The foie gras take on KFC's "double
down" is a great example. Fantastic!
The massive steak and the pork shoulder were just as good.
More Montreal food, dining, and hotel recommendations coming soon.